MEMPHIS, Tenn — Chastain Montgomery will never see the outside of a prison after killing Henning postal workers Judy Spray and Paula Robinson during a 2010 post office robbery.
“It’s been a nightmare. The only thing that has kept us is God’s grace and my two kids.” said Michael Robinson, Paula’s husband.
Shortly after the judge gave Montgomery two consecutive life sentences, the families of his victims spoke out.
“He has portrayed himself as the victim this whole time. He’s not a victim. He caused this ordeal,” said Judy Charland, Judy’s daughter.
Montgomery pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, admitting he and his son robbed the post office and killed Spray and Robinson.
The father and son went on a crime spree before being cornered by police. Montgomery’s son was killed in a shoot-out with officers.
Montgomery eventually admitted to killing the Henning postal workers, then recanted.
“We could have already started our healing process, but he drug us through four years of nothing, having to come see his face.” said Robinson’s sister, Nicole Baker.
Some family members addressed Montgomery directly in court asking how he could callously kill the two women.
Montgomery never said a word.
His attorney, Michael Scholl, said he accepts his punishment.
“His frame of mind is pretty much grasping the punishment ahead and moving on with what is left of his life, which is not a whole lot,” said Scholl.
“Justice delayed is certainly not justice denied. Four years later, we are pleased we can stand with the family. There will never be complete closure but at least we can bring some measure of closure to move forward with the healing process,” said Ed Stanton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
Montgomery’s lawyer approached the U.S. Attorney’s office about the guilty plea when it became apparent that the death penalty was on the table. The plea had to be approved by the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, Montgomery will be in prison until he dies.