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The Candy Montgomery Case
Candy Montgomery and Betty Gore were the First United Methodist Church members in Wylie, Texas. They were also both married with children.
On June 13, 1980, Gore was found dead in her utility room. She had been struck 41 times with an ax.
The police quickly identified Montgomery as a suspect. Montgomery having an affair with Gore’s husband, Allan. She also had a history of mental health problems.
Montgomery got arrest and charged with murder. She pleaded not guilty and insisted that she had acted in self-defense.
Candy Montgomery’s Lawyer: Don Crowder
Don Crowder was a personal injury lawyer who had never taken on a murder case before he agreed to represent Candy Montgomery in 1980. Montgomery was accused of murdering her friend, Betty Gore, by striking her 41 times with an ax.
Crowder a controversial figure known for his bravado and bold courtroom tactics. He was also a skilled lawyer, and he successfully argued that Montgomery had acted in self-defense.
One of Crowder’s key strategies was to use a psychiatric expert to testify that Montgomery had experienced a dissociative reaction during the killing. This meant that she had temporarily dissociated herself from her actions and was unaware of what she was doing.
Crowder also presented evidence that Gore had previously threatened Montgomery with an ax. He argued that Montgomery had feared for her life and had acted in self-defense.
The jury ultimately acquitted Montgomery of murder. She was found guilty of manslaughter but received a suspended sentence and was released from jail.
However, Crowder’s personal life was troublesome. He struggled with addiction and mental health issues. In 1998, he attempted suicide and was shot in the chest. He survived his injuries but died two years later from a heart attack.
Crowder’s Defense Strategy
Don Crowder’s defense strategy for Candy Montgomery was based on two key arguments:
Montgomery had experienced a dissociative reaction during the killing and was unaware of what she was doing.
Gore had threatened Montgomery with an ax and feared for her life.
Crowder called a psychiatric expert to testify that Montgomery had a history of dissociative episodes to support the first argument. The expert also testified that Montgomery had experienced a dissociative reaction during the killing.
To support the second argument, Crowder presented evidence that Gore had threatened Montgomery with an ax on a previous occasion. He also argued that Gore had been enraged by Montgomery’s affair with her husband and that she had been likely to attack Montgomery.
The Trial and Verdict
The trial of Candy Montgomery began in January 1981. The trial lasted for three weeks, and the media widely covered it.
Crowder’s defense strategy was successful. The jury acquitted Montgomery of murder. She was found guilty of manslaughter but received a suspended sentence and was released from jail.
Aftermath of the Trial
Don Crowder’s victory in the Candy Montgomery case made him a national celebrity. He went on to have a successful legal career and served as the city attorney for the town of Allen, Texas, for 22 years.
However, Crowder’s personal life was troublesome. He struggled with addiction and mental health issues. In 1998, he attempt suicide and shoot in the chest. He survived his injuries but died two years later from a heart attack.
Legacy of Don Crowder
Don Crowder was a complex and controversial figure. He was a skilled lawyer who could win a seemingly impossible case. However, he was also a flawed individual who struggled with personal demons.
Crowder’s legacy is still in debate today. Some people believe that he got away with murder, while others think that he was simply doing his job as a defense attorney.
In the end, Don Crowder won the case by helping Candy Montgomery fully express her guilt and sorrow for what she did to Betty. Without Don, Candy could’ve never faced the court the way that she did.