Appeal denied for convicted killer of 2 CMPD officers

Appeal denied for convicted killer of 2 CMPD officers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The North Carolina Court of Appeals rejected Demeatrius Montgomery's appeal in the murders of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton.

The court ruled Montgomery was competent to stand trial. 

Read the Court of Appeals denial (PDF)

Montgomery was found guilty of killing  the officers in Sept. 2010.

Montgomery's lawyers also claimed the state included evidence that should not have been allowed.

The appeals court disagreed with that and with the defense claim that prosecutors argued facts not supported by the evidence.

Clark and Shelton were fatally shot at the Timber Ridge Apartments on March 31, 2007.

 SLIDESHOW: 2 CMPD officers shot in the line of duty (4/1/07)

For three years, Montgomery did not speak to police or his own attorneys, who had argued before the trial that he was not able to help in his own defense.

Montgomery will spend life in prison for the killing of the two officers.

2010 TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS

• Thursday, Sept. 30: Montgomery found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. He is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences with no parole.

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• Wednesday, Sept. 29: Prosecutors and defense attorneys give closing arguments. Jurors begin deliberations just after 3 p.m.

• Tuesday, Sept. 28: Prosecutors rest their case after presenting 240 exhibits and calling 70 witnesses. Defense attorneys also rest their case, choosing not to present any evidence.

• Tuesday, Sept. 21: Prosecutors enter as evidence a .32-caliber revolver, which they said was used to kill Clark and Shelton.

• Friday, Sept. 17: Bridges decides that jurors can hear about Montgomery's past behavior toward police, saying that similarities in his past interactions with officers created a sufficient pattern of which jurors should be aware. Officers give testimony regarding Montgomery's past arrests and say he has been violent toward police officers.

• Thursday, Sept. 16: Transcripts of police radio traffic and 911 calls from the night of the shootings are released. Click here to read them.

• Wednesday, Sept. 15: Prosecutors begin calling as witnesses police officers who responded to the shootings. Officers describe chaos at the apartment complex in the moments and hours after the incident.

• Friday, Sept. 10: Attorneys, the judge and Montgomery leave the courthouse to hear testimony from Joe Robinson, a witness who is terminally ill with cancer and could not come to court. Montgomery is taken to CMPD's Hickory Grove division office under heavy security. The testimony is recorded so jurors can later see it.

• Wednesday, Sept. 8: With no witnesses to the shootings, prosecutors build their case against Montgomery by piecing together a fragmented picture of what happened the night the officers were killed. They call some witnesses who can place Montgomery at the complex, and others who can recount the moments just before and just after the shootings, but can't identify the killer. Defense attorneys fire back, telling jurors no one can say who pulled the trigger.

• Tuesday, Sept. 7: Prosecutors and defense attorneys give opening statements and testimony begins. Sherry Clark, Sean Clark's widow; and Jennifer Shelton, Jeff Shelton's widow, take the stand. Both women recount the day and night of the shootings.

• Thursday, Sept. 2: Attorneys approve two more jurors, completing the panel.

• Wednesday, Sept. 1: Attorneys approve three more jurors, bringing the panel to 10. Twelve must be chosen, along with two alternates.

• Tuesday, Aug. 31: Prosecutors and defense attorneys approve seven jurors.

• Wednesday, Aug. 25: Prosecutors say they will not appeal the judge's decision to take the death penalty off the table. Jury selection begins.

• Tuesday, Aug. 24: Judge Forrest Bridges rules that Montgomery cannot be sentenced to death if convicted as a result of Fant's mistakes.

• Monday, Aug. 23: Trial begins. Arvin Fant, a detective with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, admits discarding notes related to the investigation into the fatal shootings of Clark and Shelton. Defense attorneys ask the judge to dismiss charges against Montgomery or issue sanctions against prosecution.