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Bond granted before new trial

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bond was set Wednesday for a man who was granted a new trial by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Paul Alexander Montgomery III, 41, may be released from custody if he's able to make a $30,000 bond and fulfill some other conditions.

"We're back to square one, basically," said Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler at the start of the bond hearing Wednesday.

Montgomery's new lawyer, Steve Garner of Franklin, argued that Montgomery was free on bond at the time of his 2009 trial on nine counts of rape of a child, and "he came to court every day."

"You can't say he won't do the same this time," argued Garner. "He's no more of a threat to society today than he was then."

Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard saw it differently.

"If the magistrate had known all the facts, he wouldn't have set the bond as low as he did in the first place," Barnard said, asking the judge to set bond at $200,000.

"The District Attorney's office feels he is a security risk," Barnard continued.

Crigler agreed with the defense, and set Montgomery's bond at $30,000, though he did not agree that the situation was the same as before and during the first trial.

"He knows if he's convicted in a retrial, it's likely he's looking at a lengthy sentence," Crigler said. "That wasn't the case before."

After some discussion, additional conditions were imposed on Montgomery.

He must live at the address in Huntsville, Ala. that Garner gave the court; he must sign a waiver of extradition; and, he must allow authorities to monitor his location with a GPS system.

After court was over, Barnard explained that the waiver of extradition means that if Montgomery fails to appear in court here, law enforcement in Alabama can be asked to pick him up and hand him over to Marshall County deputies at the state line. Without it, Montgomery could fight extradition from Alabama, greatly delaying his case.

Nov. 9 is the cut-off date for negotiations to see if Montgomery's case can be resolved without a trial. If it cannot be resolved, Jan. 25-27 is the date for Montgomery's new trial.