LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas man who pleaded guilty but mentally insane for hacking a 4-month-old baby in a stroller to death with a medieval-style battle ax and critically wounding the child's mother was sentenced today to life in prison.
Harold Eugene Montague, 38, pleaded guilty in May to first-degree murder with a deadly weapon, two counts of attempted murder and battery on a police officer.
The plea deal with prosecutors means Montague won't face trial or the death penalty but will be imprisoned with no chance of parole.
"Nobody would be comfortable with Harold getting out of prison," public defense lawyer Norm Reed, said in May, "but I don't think executing him is appropriate either. That's why we came to this conclusion."
The plea deal also means that Sonia Lisset Castro won't have to testify again about hearing her attacker laugh and mock her as she pleaded for him to stop attacking her and her child, Damian Avila Castro.
Castro testified at a preliminary hearing in April 2010 that her face was split open and her jaw had to be surgically reattached after the February 2010 attack. She said her right eye was irreparably damaged.
Her son's overturned stroller was left next to a bloody stain in the street.
Montague also stabbed his profoundly disabled sister-in-law, Monica O'Dazier, some 20 times inside their home before bursting outside and attacking Castro and her son, police said. O'Dazier was treated for her injuries and survived.
A neighbor who witnessed the attack, dialed 911 and helped Castro once police subdued Montague, testified through tears that the incident caused her to suffer an emotional breakdown. She said she spent seven days in psychiatric care.