Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Montgomery sentenced to serve 5 years

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A judge sentenced a Gaithersburg teen convicted of robbery and sexual assault of two women to serve five years in prison, while agreeing to postpone seven remaining trials for up to one year.

Dion Montgomery, 18 of the unit block of Duvall Lane in Gaithersburg was indicted Sept. 13 on 20 counts including robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempt to commit robbery, second-degree assault, third- and fourth-degree sexual offense and indecent exposure, according to charging documents.

Montgomery, a former football player for Gaithersburg High School and city camp counselor, was then scheduled to be tried in 10 separate cases for 10 incidents that occurred from May 9, 2007 to June 16, 2007 near Montgomery’s home, according to police. The cases involved 11 women.

He was convicted in two incidents. Trials halted in early April when a jury acquitted Montgomery in the third case and his attorney called for new trials on the earlier convictions.

Circuit Court Judge Marielsa A. Bernard denied Finci’s request. On May 2, she sentenced Montgomery to a total of 20 years, with all but five years suspended, according to court records. Montgomery, who received about 10 months credit for time already served, will be eligible for parole after five years.

On May 5, Bernard placed all of the remaining charges against Montgomery on an inactive docket. Both the State’s Attorney’s Office and Montgomery’s attorney have until May 5, 2009, to call for trials in those cases.

‘‘Anybody can remove the case from that docket at anytime – either side,” said Richard Finci, Montgomery’s Rockville attorney. ‘‘It’s more like a pause right now.”

Finci said his client had not yet decided whether to appeal. He has 30 days to do so.

Montgomery requested that he serve his sentence in the Department of Corrections’ Herman Tolson program, a military-style boot camp in which prisoners wake at an assigned time, work in road crews and exercise regularly.

When Montgomery was sentenced, the judge knew the facts of all the cases, said Seth Zucker, spokesman for State’s Attorney John J. McCarthy. The state had asked for a longer sentence.

‘‘The odds of the sentence being increased with additional convictions were limited given the nature of the cases ...,” he said. ‘‘These matters remain alive however and should there be an appellate issue that arises the state would be able to proceed with the cases.”