Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Deoni Jones Trial Delayed Again In DC

Gary Niles Montgomery was arrested and charged with the murder of 22 year old Deoni Jones back on February 12, 2012, but the wheels of justice in this case are moving at tortoise like speed.

He is charged with first degree murder while armed for Jones' February 2 slaying, but the trial has been delayed as his current attorney Colle Latin contests the two mental competency evaluation that found him fit to stand trial.

That forced Judge Robert Morin to postpone the June 10 trial and set a third mental competency evaluation for Montgomery that won't take place until January 6, 2014.   That pushed the tentative trial date back to April 14, 2014.

Montgomery was initially found competent to stand trial in March 2012, but the case was not allowed to proceed due to the failure of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia to obtain an indictment until November 2012. Montgomery also switched defense lawyers, further delaying court proceedings.

His defense attorneys have also been fiercely contesting the two mental competency evaluation results finding the 56 year old Montgomery fit to stand trial as the frustrations of Jones' family, friends and supporters mount.

Meanwhile Montgomery sits in the DC Jail without bond as he awaits their third mental competency evaluation.

"The delay prolongs the pain and suffering of Deoni Jones's family," Hassan Naveed of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) said. "It is critical for the court to act fast and show its commitment to ending these vicious hate crimes. Our city has faced a decade-long trend of targeted and often lethal violence against the transgender community, it is time for the courts to take it seriously."

It's not only time to take that decade long trend of anti-trans violence in Washington DC seriously, but do what it takes to eradicate it.

Expeditious trials of perpetrators accused of killing transpeople would be a great place to start.

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