Admitted killer Daniel Montgomery denied appeal - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Appeal denied for man who admitted killing priest

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

An appeals court has denied an appeal filed by a man who killed a priest and set a fire to cover it up.

Daniel Montgomery had been at St.Stan's in Slavic Village training as a Franciscan brother. In 2002, he killed the pastor, Father William Gulas. He confessed and pleaded guilty. But then, years later, he filed an appeal. Montgomery wanted to withdraw his plea and argue his innocence. He also claimed he had ineffective legal counsel.

But in a decision released Thursday, the appeals court wrote, it appears Montgomery had a change of heart and a "change of heart is insufficient justification for the withdrawal of a guilty plea."

The court also found Montgomery "cannot convincingly argue that his confession and guilty pleas were the product of trial counsel's failure..."

Montgomery is doing 24 to life in prison.  

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