The Dallas Morning News

No parole for killer in key case

At 72, he’s still doing time for murdering a deputy as a teenager

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BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana inmate whose case led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling extending the hope of freedom to juvenile offenders sentenced to life without the possibilit­y of parole was again denied that freedom Thursday after more than five decades in prison.

A board voted 21 in Henry Montgomery’s favor, but parole decisions in Louisiana must be unanimous.

“It’s a tough, tough decision,” said board member Brennan Kelsey. “Unfortunat­ely, Mr. Montgomery, I am going to vote to deny your parole.”

Keith Nordyke, a lawyer for Montgomery, said he would continue to seek parole. He said Montgomery told him: “I’m not giving up.”

Montgomery, now 72, was convicted in the 1963 killing of East Baton Rouge sheriff’s Deputy Charles Hurt, who had caught him skipping school. Montgomery was 17 then.

Initially convicted and sentenced to death, he won a retrial and got life without parole.

Then the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life without parole for juveniles was “cruel and unusual” punishment. But it didn’t settle the question of whether that decision applied only to cases going forward. In 2016, taking up Montgomery’s case, the court made the ruling retroactiv­e.

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