DOUGLAS COUNTY - Prosecutors seeking the death penalty against an inmate accused of murdering a corrections officer 12 years ago acknowledged in a motion filed Wednesday there may be a need to push the trial back even further.
Edward Montour pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2002 death of Limon Correctional Facility officer Eric Autobee. Jury selection in the case began in Douglas County in January, and testimony is set to begin early March.
Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty in the case, in part because Montour had already been found guilty of murdering his 11-week-old daughter in 1998.
Recently, it was revealed in a motion filed by Montour's defense, the El Paso County Coroner's Office has changed the cause of Taylor Montour's death from "homicide" to "undetermined." In addition, medical experts hired by the defense now believe the infant died not as a result of abuse but from brittle-bone disease.
The revelation prompted prosecutors with the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office to file a motion Wednesday requesting either a judge disallow the testimony of the defense experts or delay the start of the trial. Prosecutors argue the expert's opinions were introduced too late, and thus place them in a bad position this close to the start of testimony.
A motions hearing is now set for Thursday on the issue.
Eric Autobee's father, an outspoken opponent of the prosecutor's decision to go for the death penalty, is against any delay in the trial.
Prosecutors argue they need more time to review and potentially rebut the testimony of experts who now believe Taylor Montour's death was the result of a disease and not murder. They also argue opinions could change once they seek out additional, professional opinion.
"Many of the defense experts base their opinions upon the findings of metabolic bone disease and/or rickets by the defense radiologists," the motion reads. "Many of the defense experts may change their opinions once they have opposing opinions from the People's experts."