Government prosecutors say they expect Gary Niles Montgomery, a 55-year-old homeless man accused of fatally stabbing Deoni Jones, a transgender woman, to be indicted within the next month on a charge of second-degree murder while armed.
Montgomery is accused of stabbing Jones in the face in February as she waited at a bus stop in D.C.'s Benning Heights neighborhood.
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia David Gorman today told U.S. Superior Court Judge Robert Morin that he expected to return with a grand jury indictment within one to two weeks. Once indicted, Montgomery must then be arraigned, whereupon he will plead guilty or not guilty to the charge against him. If he pleads not guilty, the case against him will proceed to trial.
Montgomery, who switched lawyers in late August, is now being represented by attorneys Anthony Matthews and Colle Latin. At today's hearing, Matthews told Morin that he intended to amend Montgomery's detention status, because, he said, there appeared to be changes to the evidence against his client. According to Matthews, forensic testing revealed that Montgomery did not have Jones's blood on him, and that there was no physical evidence linking Montgomery to the knife used in the attack on Jones.
Gorman countered that nothing substantial had changed since Montgomery's last detention hearing, saying that there was still probable cause to suggest that Montgomery did stab Jones on the night of Feb. 2. Nor was there evidence indicating that anyone else had killed Jones, Gorman added.
Surveillance video of the bus stop shows a person, who appears to be Montgomery, and Jones sitting on opposite ends of a bench. Then man prosecutors claim is Montgomery then rises to face Jones, striking her once in the face. After Jones slumps to the ground, the attacker is seen picking up what appears to be Jones's purse.
Morin asked Matthews to submit his request in writing, saying he would revisit Montgomery's detention status after the indictment. Montgomery has been scheduled for a Nov. 9 follow-up status hearing.
According to charging documents, at least two witnesses saw a man seeming to match Montgomery's description strike Jones in the head and Jones fall to the ground. The first witness went to help Jones and, after realizing she had been stabbed in the head, cried out for help.
The second witness saw the attacker drop a bag and begin running, and attempted pursuit, temporarily detaining the attacker. When the first witness called for help, the second witness released the attacker to return to the scene and aid the victim.
A Metro Transit Police Department officer on patrol responded to the scene and called for D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Paramedics took Jones to Prince George's County Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md., where Jones died of her injuries at 2:35 a.m., Feb. 3.
Following Jones's death, the Metropolitan Police Department reviewed video surveillance of the bus stop and released a portion of it for public viewing in an effort to identify the ''person of interest'' in the video. Three other witnesses, including one who had been at the bus stop with Montgomery and Jones earlier, positively identified Montgomery as the man from the bus stop surveillance video, whereupon Montgomery was arrested.