An inmate at the (MCCI) pled guilty to multiple charges of assault after he allegedly attacked and assaulted on-duty corrections officers at the jail, Acting Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
Anthony E. Montgomery, 41, of Neptune, entered his pleas before Ocean County Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson, Jr., J.S.C., who scheduled Montgomery’s sentencing on September 28.
A press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office explained that Montgomery pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree aggravated assault, one count of third-degree terroristic threats, and one count of fourth-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
One of the aggravated assault counts is related to a Nov. 7, 2008 incident. According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Montgomery, attacked a corrections officer, who was on duty during a one-hour period of recreation time. As the officer passed his cell, Montgomery allegedly attacked him from behind, and the two ended up in the cell as Montgomery attempted to pull the officer to the ground. The officer briefly escaped, but Montgomery jumped on the officer from behind, choked him with one arm and repeatedly punched him in the face with his free hand. Two other corrections officers heard the commotion and came to the victim’s aid. During their attempt to subdue the inmate, Montgomery tried to assault one of the responding officers. Though Montgomery was eventually subdued, the assault resulted in the officer sustaining serious bodily injury.
The remaining three aggravated assault counts and the terroristic threats count stem from a separate indictment wherein Montgomery was charged was assaulting three Corrections Officers with a weapon made by him in the jail, commonly referred to as “shank.”
According to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, on Aug. 24, 2009, several officers came to Montgomery’s cell to repair a broken light fixture. As per MCCI regulations, Montgomery was to be removed from his cell during the repair, and held in the presence of several officers while the fixture was repaired. When the officers entered the cell to handcuff and remove Montgomery, he assaulted them with the hand-made shank. All three officers sustained injuries from the weapon and, after being subdued, Montgomery threatened to break the neck of yet another corrections officer. Through questioning by his attorney, Montgomery admitted to the Judge during his plea that it was his intention to cause serious bodily injury to the officers and that he attempted to do so.
The possession of a weapon count stems from a third incident that occurred on May 27, 2008. During a routine search of his cell, officers found Montgomery in possession of a “shank” that had been made from various items within the cell.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office will recommend that Montgomery receive consecutive sentences of 10 years on the first aggravated assault that occurred on Nov. 7, 2008, subject to the No Early Release Act; 10 years concurrent sentences on the three aggravated assaults that occurred on Aug. 24, 2009, subject to the No Early Release Act; 5 years on the terroristic threat conveyed on Aug. 24, 2009; and 18 months on the weapon charge from May 27, 2008. The plea agreement calls for this 26 and-a-half year sentence to run concurrent to the sentence Montgomery is currently serving - life without parole.
This case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Maria M. Franceschini. Montgomery is represented by John O. Goins, Esq., of Elizabeth.