Montgomery switches lawyers as court grants extension in transgender woman's murder case

Government continues to seek grand jury indictment for man accused of stabbing Deoni Jones to death

The District man accused of stabbing a transgender woman in the face in February has been assigned a new defense lawyer while the government proceeds forward with the case against him.

Thomas Dybdahl, representing for Gary Niles Montgomery, notified the court at an Aug. 31 status hearing that he was stepping down as defense counsel and would be replaced by Anthony Matthews. Montgomery, 55, of Northeast Washington, faces a charge of second-degree murder while armed for allegedly stabbing Deoni Jones while she was waiting at a bus stop in the city’s Benning Heights neighborhood.

Judge Robert E. Morin noted that the case against Montgomery has been active for almost seven months, and asked Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gorman, speaking on behalf of the government, if the government wished to proceed with the case.

Gorman told Morin that the government will continue to seek a grand jury indictment against Montgomery, and Morin granted an extension for the government to make its case before the grand jury in hopes of obtaining that indictment so the government can bring the case to trial. Morin also scheduled Montgomery for a follow-up felony status hearing on Oct. 12.

Montgomery remains held without bond as he awaits his next court date.

Jones was stabbed in the face on the evening of Feb. 2 while waiting at a bus stop at the intersection of East Capitol Street and Sycamore Road NE. She was later transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md., where she died in the early morning hours of Feb. 3.

Montgomery was arrested eight days later following a weeklong manhunt during which the Metropolitan Police Department posted video footage of their prime suspect on YouTube and asked community members to help identify Jones’s assailant. Shortly after being arrested, Montgomery underwent a mental observation and was judged competent to stand trial.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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