Colorado

Mar 6, 2014 9:33 PM by Connie Murphy

Inmate pleads guilty to murder, avoids execution

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) - An inmate has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the beating death of a Colorado prison guard after prosecutors dropped their plan to seek the death penalty.

The Denver Post reports Edward Montour entered his plea Thursday in the 2002 death of Eric Autobee. Montour had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and his trial got underway Wednesday.

The plea agreement emerged after Montour's lawyers said new evidence cast doubt on his original conviction in the 1997 death of his 11-month-old daughter.

Montour was serving a life sentence in that case when he attacked Autobee. A coroner changed the girl's death certificate last month to say the manner of death was unknown instead of homicide.

Defense lawyers also argued Montour was suffering from an untreated mental illness.

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