Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Thomas Montgomery: Bizarre Love Triangle


According to Nucherino, Montgomery said that Molloy had told him he could change his plea at any time. Prosecutor Frank Sedita, however, insisted Montgomery had understood the finality of the plea—after all, he had sworn at the hearing in which he made that plea that he understood what he was doing. Nucherino claimed further that Molloy hadn't been able to face telling Montgomery that he thought he didn't have much chance of winning his case, and that Molloy had worried that Montgomery's daughters' planned testimony (that they were with their father at the time of the murder) would be picked apart. Nucherino suggested that pushing Montgomery into a plea may have seemed easier to Molloy than gearing up for a losing case.

Sedita called Montgomery's claims in his attempt to reverse his plea manipulative—and he said Montgomery's emails to and chats with Sheiler displayed the same manipulative behavior. Sedita argued, too, that the nature of the chats changed once Montgomery's wife ratted him out. Sheiler and Barrett hurt Montgomery's feelings, Sedita argued, and Montgomery wanted to show them he could hurt them too. Sedita said transcripts showed Montgomery had "an obsessive desire to make Brian Barrett suffer."

Montgomery's brother, Gerald Montgomery, of Charlotte, N.C., insisted that his brother was innocent and that Mary Sheiler was "trying to kill two people, not just one," because a 20 or 25 year sentence would likely last the rest of Montgomery's life.

Judge Wolfgang didn't agree. She didn't permit Montgomery to retract his plea and she quickly sentenced him to 20 years in prison plus five years of post-release supervision.


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