Selected Court Cases

United States v. Chastain Montgomery

Chastain Montgomery, Sr. was charged with the murders of two US Postal Service employees in a robbery-homicide at a Tennessee post office. After the case remained unsolved for months, police arrested Mr. Montgomery, a longtime respected corrections officer, after his son was killed in a shootout after a carjacking and Mr. Montgomery was stopped at the scene with evidence implicating him in multiple bank robberies and the murders at the Henning Post Office.


Federal prosecutors retained The Forensic Panel soon after the arrest in anticipation of challenges to a highly incriminating videotaped confession, anticipating hard fought death penalty litigation and pretrial proceedings. Questions of whether he competently waived his Miranda rights, and whether his confessions were coerced, rapidly evolved into considerations of whether the defendant had intellectual disability in an Atkins hearing. Neuropsychology and psychiatry expertise contributed to the assessment of Mr. Montgomery, who had consistently scored below 70 on IQ tests.  The Forensic Panel’s peer reviewed findings that Montgomery was not intellectually disabled drew five testifying experts from the defense. The appellate judge ruled, in an opinion attached here, that Montgomery was not intellectually disabled. In it, the Court cited the credibility of The Forensic Panel’s effort and testimony in its opinion. Subsequent to the decision, Mr. Montgomery pled guilty to all charges in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole.  


Read the Court decision on intellectual disability here