Alleged prison attack on Montgomery Chitty prompts judge to delay hearing
A federal judge on Friday postponed a sentencing hearing until Sept. 10 for a former Aspen man who faces a minimum of 20 years behind bars for a cocaine-trafficking conviction.
Chief Judge Marcia S. Krieger’s written order, delivered in the U.S. District Court of Denver, comes after Montgomery Chitty wrote her a July 2-dated letter seeking a delay in the sentencing hearing because of claims that he was “brutally beaten” on May 13 by three white supremacists at a federal detention center in Littleton.
Chitty’s letter said that the “Neo-Nazi” inmates attacked him because he was helping “a 50-year-old black man hoping to earn his GED high school diploma.”
Chitty, 61, suffered a “concussion and possible stroke” as a result of the attack, the letter says. Chitty wrote that he has been treated at two hospitals and was moved to a detention center in Denver on May 31, where he remains in custody.
Chitty’s sentencing date had been set for Wednesday in Denver federal court. Prosecutor Michele Korver did not oppose the motion to postpone the hearing.
In a related development, Judge Krieger appointed Denver attorney Thomas Goodreid to represent Chitty as “standby and advisory counsel” for the remainder of the case. Goodreid previously worked with Chitty in an advisory capacity in the case after withdrawing as lead counsel in January.
Goodreid, in court papers introduced Thursday, said that he met with Chitty earlier this week at the Denver jail, where Chitty used a walker and had difficulty speaking. Goodreid also said that Chitty was “beaten by a cadre of other inmates.”
At this week’s meeting with Goodreid, Chitty “often uttered words and partial sentences in halting fashion,” the attorney wrote, noting that he had “concern” about “Chitty’s ability to fully participate in next week’s sentencing hearing.”
In a separate order, issued Thursday, Krieger declined to address Chitty’s request for an order instructing the Bureau of Prisons to return his personal possession from the Englewood Federal Correctional Institution. That’s where Chitty and his alleged attackers were taken after the May 13 incident, before Chitty was transferred to the Denver jail.
Chitty claims that his legal and medical records, as well as his personal belongings, remain at the Englewood facility. The judge also declined to rule on Chitty’s request for a transfer back to Englewood, “where I have access to a federal law library, legal computors (sic), copy machine, a dedicated public defender telephone…”
Chitty’s letter noted that “my attackers have been transferred elsewhere and I have no fear of returning to Englewood …”
Chitty has been in federal custody since agents arrested him in February 2012, in Big Pine Key, Fla.
His arrest came nearly nine months after DEA agents in May 2011 snared 10 people, including six in the Aspen-Snowmass area, on conspiracy charges that they trafficked more than 200 kilograms of cocaine between Aspen and Los Angeles over a 15-year period.
Following a trial in April, a jury convicted Chitty of conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek more than 20 years of incarceration for Chitty because he has a criminal record that includes a 1990 conviction in Louisiana for smuggling marijuana.
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