Daughters testify in Montgomery murder trial | PostIndependent.com

Daughters testify in Montgomery murder trial

Michael Francis Montgomery arrest photo.

Two daughters of Michael Montgomery, 46, accused of first-degree murder for shooting his son-in-law March 29, 2017, testified in their father’s trial Thursday.

Desirae Montgomery, 20, and Kayla Gallegos were called by the prosecution, and through questioning from Deputy District Attorney Ben Sollars described what happened the day before and the day of the shooting of Christopher Gallegos, then 28.

According to Desirae, Michael Montgomery witnessed Gallegos, at that time married to his daughter, Kayla, kiss another woman, who was one of Desirae’s friends.

Desirae and Montgomery were looking for Anthony Bracamontes, who had allegedly taken heroin from Desirae without paying, and during the search March 28, 2017. At the Acacia Apartment complex where Bracamontes lived, Montgomery witnessed Gallegos and the other woman kiss.

Sollars presented Facebook messages between Montgomery and Desirae from March 29 about Gallegos being with another woman.

Desirae did not recall that conversation, nor a number of other conversations she had told officers about after shooting. She testified during defense cross-examination that she was using methamphetamine at the time.

Prosecutors say the evidence proves Montgomery deliberated and formed intent to kill Gallegos prior to the shooting,

Defense attorney Chip McCrory said during opening arguments Wednesday that the shooting was not premeditated.

Montgomery and Desirae did not find Bracamontes the night of the 28th, but he returned the $60 worth of heroin to Desirae the next day. Over Facebook or phone, Montgomery told Desirae he wanted the money, not the drugs.

While Desirae waited to meet her father and give him the heroin, she found out Montgomery had returned to the apartment complex in which Bracamontes and Gallegos’ girlfriend lived.

Over the phone, Desirae tried to tell her father that she had the drugs, and was waiting for Montgomery.

“I’m not here for you, I’m here for somebody else,” Desirae remembers her father saying.

Kayla testified that she and Gallegos were separated at the time, and she knew he was sleeping with other people. There was no jealousy, she said.

Michael Montgomery fled to Oregon after the shooting, where he was apprehended in September 2017.

He was driving Kayla’s white Toyota Scion after the shooting, but left it in Rifle.

Prosecutors played an audio clip of a call between Rifle officers and Kayla after the shooting.

Kayla testified that she told officers she drove a white Toyota Scion. In the audio played for the jury, prosecutors say Kayla clearly said it was an “Avalon,” not a Scion. A voice in the background of the audio sounded like it whispered a prompt for her to say otherwise.

Assistant prosecuting attorney Zac Parsons asked if Michael Montgomery told her to say Avalon.

“If my dad was with me, I would have turned him in,” Kayla said.

Defense attorneys said the officer in the call must have misheard the name of the car, and that Kayla was clearly saying it was a Scion.

tphippen@postindependent.com


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