Delay in Transgender Stabbing Trial

Court orders suspect in fatal stabbing of Deoni Jones to submit to further mental evaluation

Gary Niles Montgomery, the 56-year-old Washington man accused of stabbing and killing Deoni Jones, a transgender woman, at a Northeast D.C. bus stop, was today remanded to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for follow-up mental evaluations, nearly a year to the date after Jones was murdered.

At Tuesday’s hearing, D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Morin ordered the additional mental evaluation to determine whether Montgomery he is competent to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder while armed.

Montgomery, who was previously found competent to stand trial, was scheduled for June 10 trial. That trial date has been vacated following Morin’s order that Montgomery be held at St. Elizabeth’s.

Under the D.C. Official Code, any defendant found incompetent in a criminal case must be remanded to a mental hospital for further evaluation to determine whether the case can move forward.

Morin ordered Montgomery to submit to a full competency examination and scheduled him for a follow-up mental observation hearing April 5, without objection from either Montgomery’s defense lawyers or Assistant U.S. Attorney Holly Schick.

Montgomery was arrested following an eight-day manhunt by the Metropolitan Police Department after being identified from video footage taken by a surveillance camera near the bus stop where Jones was killed.

According to charging documents, two witnesses passing by the bus stop at the intersection of Sycamore Road and East Capitol Street NE on the evening of Feb. 2, 2012, saw a man believed to be Montgomery strike Jones in the head, after which Jones fell to the ground. She was transported to Prince George’s County Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md., where she died of her injuries six hours later.

Alvin Bethea, Jones’s father, recently announced that family and friends of Jones will hold a memorial vigil for her at the bus stop where she was attacked, Saturday, Feb. 2, at 4:30 p.m.

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

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