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20140214.Bob-Lola.Autobee# 1775020 v 1

20140214.Bob-Lola.Autobee# 1775020 v 1

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Published by cbsradionews
Letter from Colorado prosecutor to family of murder victim.
Letter from Colorado prosecutor to family of murder victim.

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Published by: cbsradionews on Feb 27, 2014
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 Centennial, CO 80111 720-874-8500 FAX 720-874-8501
 February 14, 2014 Dear Bob and Lola,
As we begin the trial of your son’s murderer, I want to reach out to you again to keep our lines of
communication open and to encourage you to use them to ask me questions, express your opinions, or to just talk with me at any time. I understand that you have retained Iris Eytan to represent you and assist you in the pursuit of your rights as victims under our constitution and laws. I respect your decision and will continue to honor it. I have written this letter to be given to you, since I am no longer able to speak with you by telephone or in person at the request of your attorney. I think it is important that you understand from my perspective what is at stake in this case and why we are here. You know well that this case began more than a decade ago. The pursuit of justice has been delayed many, many times, but never at our insistence. District Attorneys Jim Peters and his successor, Carol Chambers, each pursued the death penalty in this case, believing that it is the  just outcome of this case.
As a result of the court’s decision to allow your son’s killer to
withdraw his plea of guilty, I was required to reanalyze this case and again determine if it was appropriate to continue to seek the imposition of a death sentence on Montour. I considered heavily
and still consider as we move through our justice system
the wishes of you and your family. I respect your willingness and ability to forgive the killer who callously and in cold blood murdered your son, who was merely working hard to protect his community. I am glad to hear that you have regained your faith and that your family has pulled together in the aftermath of this horror. I hope to never know if I have your strength to get past something like this. No decision to prosecute, plea bargain, or dismiss a case is ever placed entirely upon the shoulders of the victims of violent crime. There are many factors to be considered, including the impact on your family.
Montour’s murderous acts have changed your family forever, and that cannot be r 
emedied by any outcome of this case. Our criminal justice system is poorly equipped to deal with such issues as faith and forgiveness and cannot completely remedy the results of criminal behavior, especially when the behavior 
as here
is an unprovoked, undeserved, and self-satisfying act of murder. You know this as well as anyone. Our system is designed to learn the truth of what a  person did or did not do, and then affix the just punishment for their actions. In this case, I believe justice dictates that Montour deserves a death sentence for his conduct.
From my perspective, a man who intentionally kills his 11-week old infant daughter is already in a unique class of murderers. That act alone is an aggravating factor under our laws, which would have made Montour eligible for the death penalty for the murder of his daughter. The  prosecutors in that murder case
his first murder case
did not seek a death sentence. Instead, Montour pleaded guilty to his heinous act of infanticide and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. As you know, while serving that life sentence, Montour attacked your unsuspecting son from  behind
like a coward
and killed him with repeated blows to his head. He knew exactly what he was doing and his motives were selfish.
You also remember Montour’s cold
-blooded words after he murdered your son and in court.
For your son’s killer, remorse and apologies came a
couple weeks before this trial and will be used to try to convince a jury to give him yet another shot at a life sentence after his second murder of an innocent person.
Of the compelling evidence I reviewed in making this decision, I reviewed Montour’s poems,
letters, and statements at his first sentencing hearing. I have attached a copy of the transcript with this correspondence, so you have the opportunity to see what information I have considered. A couple of the notable statements by Montour at this sentencing hearing are:
…the evidence has clearly shown my thought process within the context
of my problem-solving skills and in other areas of my life and how little I value human life, along with my total disregard as to the punishment and deterrence the laws are to invoke. I believe it is self-evident that if I am to receive another life sentence, it would afford me yet another opportunity to kill again, as well as an opportunity to educate inmates how to manipulate the law, to essentially get away with murder, given the existing capital sentencing statute.
There can be no guaranteed sentence to administrative segregation. I am concerned that you have been misled about the possible sentence Montour could serve, if he does not receive a death sentence. You have mentioned to me
and I have heard misstated to the media by the handful of vo
cal defenders of your son’s murderer— 
that Montour is willing to
serve life in administrative segregation, publicly referred to as “solitary confinement.”
 This sentence is not possible. Under our laws and the rules of the Department of Corrections, no  person can be sentenced
even by their own agreement and stipulation
to a life sentence in solitary confinement. The law does not permit this. Anyone who tells you that such a deal can  be negotiated is ignorant or intentionally misleading you. This is not a debatable issue. It is the status of our law. If you want to seek an independent opinion about this, I encourage you to reach out to the Department of Corrections and ask for yourself. If Montour is permitted to plead guilty, or a jury does not sentence him to death, he will be sentenced to life in prison without parole...with no additional limitations on where he must be housed, or the conditions of his sentence. That means that short of a death sentence, there is
nothing that prevents Montour from progressing back to general population, back to the  privileges of any other one-time murderer, back to the very cell he lived in the day he chose to murder your son, potentially placing other inmates and prison guards in grave danger. However, a person sentenced to death is required by law to be housed in administrative segregation until his sentence is carried out. This is the only sentence that will hold someone in
“solitary confinement” until their sentence is fulfilled.
 It is an injustice for the murderer of a helpless infant to subsequently murder an unsuspecting  prison guard and the only consequence to that repeat killer is a temporary change in scenery and the place of his confinement. One of the additional things I must consider is how the re
solution of Montour’s case may impact
those currently-incarcerated murderers who might seek to kill another prison guard--another Eric. As a former career corrections officer, I ask you to consider what message
what sign
you would like to see posted in prisons throughout Colorado:
“If you murder a corrections officer, your sentence will be little different than the one you currently serve.”
Or, “If you murder a corrections officer, you will likely face the loss of your life.”
 The cost of this case I am also concerned that you have been misled about the cost of this case. Whoever tells you it has
or will
 —cost “$15 million” should be able to provide you the proof of that.
 They cannot. There are no prosecutors in our office who were hired specifically for this case. When this case is concluded, the prosecutors and paralegal positions currently assigned to this case will still be here.
The extra cost of this case is caused by Montour’s efforts to minimize the
responsibility he is willing take in this case. In evaluating who is responsible for any expense in this case, I respectfully encourage you to look at who is responsible for the delays that have occurred in this case and who continues to resist responsibility for their conduct. Any increased costs to this case have taken place prior to this trial and are a direct result of the efforts to force our office to re-
 prove his guilt, not just in the case of your son’s murder, but also in his previous
case of murdering his infant daughter. From the first hours we spent at your home in Pueblo, I have sincerely listened to your thoughts, concerns, and interests in this case. I have answered your questions as fully and candidly as  possible. I, too, have been candid with you about my thoughts and interests in this case. I continue to believe that justice dictates that Montour receive a sentence for killing your son above and beyond the life sentence he earned for murdering his daughter. That sentence is death.
Anything less would diminish Montour’s ev
il conduct and its impact on this community, the Department of Corrections, and your family. My obligations also include this community and the families of future victims of murderers like Montour, who will be further undeterred from killing another corrections officer in the future if they know that no additional punishment

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