The Trial Begins

[Original coverage from August 2010]

CHARLOTTE, NC — Demeatrius Montgomery almost stopped things before they started by refusing to leave his jail cell, until his aunt finally convinced him to walk into the courtroom.

Dressed in an orange jump suit, he refused to speak to his lawyers or the judge.

Montgomery’s attorney, Duane Bryant, continues to question whether his client is competent to stand trial and says Montgomery has refused to talk for the past three and a half years.

He’s accused of killing Officers Sean Clark and Jeff Shelton in 2007 at the Timber Ridge Apartments in east Charlotte.

A detective in the case, Arvin Fant, took the stand to face accusations that he destroyed evidence in this case.

Fant, who was recently demoted to patrol officer, admitted to destroying notes he took during interviews with people involved in this case.

He also said he knew the notes were considered evidence and he knew it was wrong to destroy them, but he did it anyway. He couldn’t provide an answer as to why.

The prosecution acknowledged that Fant’s actions were inexcusable, but argued that since the interviews were all recorded, too, his notes weren’t essential.

Marsha Goodenow, an Assistant District Attorney for 20 years and the lead prosecutor in this case, took the stand to answer questions about when and how she found out Fant had destroyed evidence.

Ultimately, the judge decided to let Goodenow continue working on the case.

-Story by Morgan Fogarty