• December 28, 2014

Medical examiner testifies at Montague trial

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Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:59 pm

Witness testimony continued Tuesday in the trial of a Killeen man accused of the 2012 murder of a former soldier.

The prosecution called on police investigators and a medical examiner as they continued to build their case against 28-year-old Cliffton Sivad Montague.

Montague is accused of shooting Laterrance Deshawn Newsome multiple times inside an apartment in the 3200 block of Hereford Lane in Killeen on the night of Oct. 11, 2012.

Montague was arrested in a Killeen hotel days after the shooting.

During Tuesday’s testimony, jurors watched nearly an hour of a video-recorded interview between Killeen police Detective Rodney Wilmore and a woman who said Montague stayed with her in a hotel after the shooting. During that time, she said, Montague admitted to the shooting.

“He told me yesterday that he did it,” the woman told Wilmore during the interview.

Montague’s defense attorneys said there was a $1,000 reward for tips leading to Montague’s arrest at the time and the woman never mentioned Newsome by name.

Keith Pinckard, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Newsome, told the jury the victim was shot eight times. He also said a toxicology report showed that Newsome had a blood alcohol level of 0.06, under the state legal limit of 0.08.

The toxicology report showed Newsome had small amounts of Prozac and marijuana in his bloodstream, Pinckard said.

Two Killeen patrol officers who were the first at the scene that night testified, as well as one of the detectives responsible for gathering physical evidence in the apartment.

During their cross-examination, Montague’s defense attorneys indicated police had not questioned a group of three to four men seen near the scene after the shooting.

The defense also claimed police failed to test several cigarette butts found at the scene for DNA, and did not try to recover potential evidence from seven cellphones or a laptop found at the scene.

“Those could potentially be more witnesses, more suspects that were not followed up on,” said defense attorney Michael Magana.

Testimony is slated to continue this morning.

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