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  1. #1

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    William T. Montgomery - Ohio Execution - February 11, 2015


    Cynthia Tincher, top,
    and Debra Ogle





    Summary of Offense:

    On March 8, 1986, Montgomery murdered 20-year-old Debra Ogle and 19-year-old Cynthia Tincher. Ms. Ogle and Ms. Tincher were roommates who knew Montgomery. Montgomery asked Ms. Ogle for a ride in her car, took her to a wooded area and shot her three times, point-blank, in the forehead. Montgomery returned to Ms. Ogle's apartment in her car, left with Ms. Tincher in Ms. Tincher's car, had her pull over to the side of the road and shot her at close range. Montgomery received a death sentence for the aggravated murder of Ms. Ogle.

  2. #2
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    In a 6th Circuit opinion issued on September 29, 2009, the 6th Circuit upheld a federal judge's decision to overturn the conviction of Montgomery.


    Opinion is here:

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions...9a0348p-06.pdf

  3. #3
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    September 30, 2009

    More than two years after convicted killer William T. Montgomery was first granted a new trial, a federal appellate court affirmed yesterday that a police report kept from the defense during his 1986 trial could have changed the outcome of the case.

    In a 2-1 decision released yesterday, judges of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld the 2007 decision by Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr., of Cleveland to grant a new trial.

    In addition, they affirmed the judge's subsequent ruling not to reconsider his decision.

    Montgomery, 43, was convicted of the murders of two South Toledo roommates.

    He was sentenced to death for the aggravated murder and aggravated robbery of Debra Ogle, 20, and to prison for the murder of Cynthia Tincher, 19.

    In its decision, the majority of the appellate court agreed with Judge Oliver's assessment that a report withheld from Montgomery's defense team during his trial was "material" to the case and so could have been used by "even one juror."
    The decision can be appealed to either the full appellate court or to the U.S. Supreme Court. Montgomery remains incarcerated on death row.


    Prosecutor Julia Bates said the decision on how to proceed rests with the Ohio attorney general but noted that the case potentially could return to Lucas County.

    "We'll be back in the trial posture to retry the case, and of course, that's what we'll do" if any future appeals fail, she said. "It's unfortunate because the document that caused all this … will not even be admitted. There will be no evidence that will be introduced that wasn't a part of the original trial.

    "That's troubling but we'll do what we have to do," she said.

    The decades-old police report in question stated that Ms. Ogle was seen alive four days after March 8, 1986, the day prosecutors said she died. The witnesses who were involved in that report have since written an affidavit claiming a mistake and that they had seen the victim's sister.

    In their opinion, judges Gilbert Merritt and Eric Clay wrote that had the jury heard testimony from those witnesses who said they had seen Ms. Ogle alive days after prosecutors said she had been killed, "it may have raised enough doubt in the mind of one juror to sway that juror, even if he or she had voted to convict Montgomery of the murders, to reject the death penalty."

    "If even one juror had rejected imposition of the death sentence, a life sentence would have been imposed," the opinion stated. "The fact that there may have existed even one juror with a doubt about Montgomery's guilt or the nature of his participation in the crime leads us to question the reliability of the verdict as to the sentence and to conclude that the police report was material to the sentence imposed."

    In dissent, Judge Julia Smith Gibbons wrote that the withheld report was not material.

    Attorney Rick Kerger said he was pleased with the decision but recognized the process is far from over.

    He added that the judges' decision confirmed that Montgomery did not receive a complete and fair trial.

    He noted that the appellate court did not address other issues he raised in his initial appeal and said that if yesterday's decision is overturned at some point, he would proceed with other arguments.

    Montgomery's case had gone through - and lost - numerous appeals before Judge Oliver's order that it be retried.

    Holly Hollingsworth, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said the decision is under review.

    The mothers of the victims, who expressed surprise and grief upon learning of the initial decision to grant a new trial, could not be reached for comment.

    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs...WS02/909300353

  4. #4
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    On January 21, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, overturned the Sixth Circuit three-member panel's decision. Thus, Montgomery's still on death row.

    http://www.lexisone.com/lx1/caselaw/...=y&l1loc=FCLOW

  5. #5
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    WILLIAM T. MONTGOMERY v. DAVID BOBBY, Warden

    Appeals court: No new trial for man convicted in deaths of 2 Toledo women

    COLUMBUS — A federal appeals court Monday overturned a lower court decision ordering a new trial for William T. Montgomery who faces execution for the 1986 murder of a Toledo woman and life in prison in the killing of her roommate.

    In a splintered decision, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a police report withheld from the defense for six years was not enough to overturn the convictions of Montgomery, 45, in the deaths of Debra Ogle and Cynthia Tincher. The majority disagreed with the argument that the report might have undermined the state’s case placing the gun that killed them in Montgomery’s hands.

    In that police report, witnesses claimed to have seen Ms. Ogle on March 12, 1986, when she had been missing four days and presumed dead under the prosecution’s theory.

    Montgomery was handed a death sentence in Ms. Ogle’s murder and life in prison in Ms. Tincher’s death. The prosecution’s theory presented to the jury was that Ms. Ogle was murdered as part of a robbery and Ms. Tincher was killed to silence her because she could place Montgomery and co-conspirator Grover Heard with her roommate.

    The Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Monday determined that, even if the jury had known about the report at the time, it was unlikely it would have changed the outcome of the trial. The court said the report undermined Montgomery’s claim that Heard, also convicted in connection with the murders, had used Montgomery’s gun to kill the women.

    Writing for the majority, Judge Julia Smith Gibbons wrote that the evidence at trial “strongly implicated Montgomery as the triggerman.’’

    She noted that the women were killed with a .380-caliber pistol Montgomery bought two weeks earlier, that he was seen in possession of the gun hours before the killings, and that Montgomery had acknowledged being with both women in their apartment shortly before their deaths. The gun was delivered to police by his mother.

    Several witnesses, classmates of Ms. Ogle, had told police that they saw her in her car days after the car had been found abandoned and she was presumed dead. The report was not made available to the defense at the time, and it did not come to its attention until a public records request revealed it six years later.

    After learning that their report had served as the basis for U.S. District Court Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. to order a new trial for Montgomery, the witnesses retracted their statements and said it was Ms. Ogle’s younger sister they’d seen that day.

    The appeal court’s majority disagreed that, had the defense been armed with the original report at trial, it might have tipped the balance in Montgomery’s favor with the jury.

    “…(W)e are not persuaded that the report was material to the relevant issue at trial: whether Montgomery or Heard was the triggerman,’’ Judge Gibbons wrote. “To the contrary, the report exonerates Heard as Ogle’s shooter because he was imprisoned by the time of the alleged sighting on March 12.’’

    Judge Gilbert S. Merritt issued one of the five dissenting votes in the case favoring a new trial. He said the witnesses’ original report should have been turned over to the defense before the trial.

    “In a case of blatant prosecutorial misconduct, no one has seriously contested the fact that the prosecutor suppressed the evidence simply because it was inconsistent with his theory of the case,’’ he wrote. “The district court concluded that the case should be retried in state court. We should not retry it here on appeal, as my colleagues suggest. Montgomery is entitled to a jury trial free of gross prosecutorial misconduct.’’

    Montgomery has remained on death row at the Ohio State Penitentiary near Youngstown pending his appeals.

    http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/20...edo-women.html

  6. #6
    It's unusual for me to ask questions regarding death penalty cases but Mongomery's is actually one that I am not to quite familiar with. Being that the 6th circuit reinstated his conviction.. I would assume his case has been remanded to the distrrict court with the original 3 judge panel to hear his remaining claims now regarding his death sentence?

  7. #7
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    Montgomery can appeal the 6th Circuit's decision to the US Supreme Court.

  8. #8
    Very well aware of that. The original 3 Judge Panel overturned Montgomery's death sentence and conviction. When the 6th circuit reheard the case en banc, it appears they reinstated the conviction and death sentence and Montgomery now has the chance to appeal to the US Supreme Court, but all Montgomery's sentencing claims will be remanded to the original 3 judge panel of the 6th circuit to decide them since they were labeled moot once that panel granted him a new trial.

  9. #9
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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Montgomery's petition writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  10. #10
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    Supreme Court rejects death-row inmate's appeal

    The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from an Ohio death-row inmate who, during his lengthy legal battle, won an overturning of his conviction, only for it to be reinstated.

    William T. Montgomery, 46, of Toledo was convicted in the 1986 murders of two South Toledo roommates, a conviction that more than 20 years later was overturned by a federal judge in 2007.

    After four years of legal arguments, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision and ordered a new trial.

    It was the 2011 decision that Montgomery's defense attorney had hoped the Supreme Court would hear. However, with the high court's decision, Montgomery will again face execution now that his appeals are exhausted.

    "Review in the Supreme Court is very difficult to obtain," lawyer Rick Kerger said. "I can't say I'm surprise but I'm am very disappointed. We thought we had some good issues."

    Montgomery was sentenced to death for the aggravated murder and aggravated robbery of Debra Ogle, 20, and to prison for the murder of Cynthia Tincher, 19.

    His conviction was overturned when a federal judge in Cleveland ruled that a police report kept from the defense during his trial could have changed the outcome.

    That decision was upheld in 2009 by a panel of the federal appellate court in Cincinnati in a 2-1 decision but was overturned two years later when the entire appellate court heard the case.

    With an 11-5 vote, the court once again instituted the death penalty for Montgomery, saying it disagreed that the report would have undermined the state's case that he was the triggerman. In that police report, witnesses claimed to have seen Ms. Ogle alive on March 12, 1986, four days after she'd been reported missing and presumed dead.

    The witnesses who were involved in that report have since written an affidavit claiming a mistake and that they had seen the victim's sister.

    Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates, who at the time was the assistant prosecutor assigned to the case, said the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the appeal was like a "personal vindication."

    Noting that he could discuss the case because he was an attorney and not a judge at the time it was tried, Judge Bates said that the work of the prosecution team, which had been attacked, was now validated.

    "In my opinion, there was a certain manipulation of facts that was done by the defense, which was corrected by the Court of Appeals in Cincinnati," he said. "More importantly I'm happy for the friends and families of the victims who have had to live with this for so many years."

    Judge Bates said the mothers of the victims were notified of the denial and were relieved. Jane Ogle, Ms. Ogle's mother, could not be reached for comment.

    Montgomery has remained on death row pending the appeals. No execution date is pending.

    http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/20...-s-appeal.html
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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