The man accused of using an ax to kill a baby and severely injure the boy's mother and a disabled sister-in-law last month faces a preliminary hearing April 12 to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to try him on a charge of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
Harold Montague stood and hung his head in court Wednesday, quietly answering questions from Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress Tobiasson.
On Feb. 11, after using a hatchet to inflict critical wounds on his sister-in-law, Montague went outside the home and attacked Sandra Castro who was walking along the street pushing her son in a baby stroller, police say. He struck Sandra Castro multiple times in the face and mortally wounded 4-month-old Damian Avila Castro, according to police.
Police found no link between Montague and the Castros. A motive has not been revealed, and Montague's mental state has been questioned by police and Norm Reed, his public defender. Montague's wife has said he had mental problems.
Deputy District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci said Castro remains in the hospital after the incident.
"She's had multiple surgeries to try to reattach her face," he said after the hearing. Both mother and child were struck in the face and body multiple times.
Monica O'Dazier, Montague's sister-in-law, was released from University Medical Center not long after the incident, Pesci said. She sustained more than 20 wounds.
Montague was a caregiver for the mentally and physically disabled woman in the home where he lived with his wife, three children and O'Dazier.
Montague is charged with murder in the death of Damien Castro and the attempted murders of Sylvia Castro and O'Dazier.
Police said he also attacked a police officer during his arrest shortly after the attacks and tried to grab a weapon from an officer. He faces a third count of attempted murder as a result.
District Attorney David Roger previously said the circumstances of the crime make Montague eligible to receive the death penalty, but a decision on whether to pursue a capital case against him has not been announced.
Although Montague's mental status has been questioned, during the brief hearing neither Reed nor Pesci suggested he should be evaluated. The issue could be addressed at the April 12 preliminary hearing.
Montague is jailed without bail.
Contact reporter Doug McMurdo at dmcmurdo@review journal.com or 702 380-8135.