Prosecutors to appeal new gun charges trial ruling in murder
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they will appeal an order for a new trial on weapons charges for a man accused of killing a woman 4½ years ago shortly before she was to meet with prosecutors about his New Jersey-supplied heroin ring.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaun Sweeney last week filed a notice of appeal with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Price Montgomery.
Montgomery was convicted last fall in the August 2014 shooting death of 34-year-old Tina Crawford and the wounding of her 63-year-old mother in Pittsburgh. Prosecutors said the victim made drug runs for Montgomery and considered him a friend but was slain about an hour before she was to meet with federal prosecutors.
A federal judge on March 4 ordered a new trial on gun possession counts for Montgomery and a co-defendant, citing a Supreme Court decision last year saying prosecutors must prove people banned from having guns are aware of that fact. Before, it was enough for the government to show that a felon had possession of a gun.
Prosecutors have said the conviction of killing a federal witness, which wasn’t affected by the judge’s ruling, carries a mandatory life sentence.