Public Safety

Missouri man sentenced to 4 years for illegally having guns, committing perjury

Has previous domestic assault conviction

CEDAR RAPIDS — A federal judge on Wednesday found a man committed perjury during his sentencing hearing and increased his prison time from nearly two years to four years in prison.

U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams said he didn’t find Damon Montano, 39, of Louisiana, Mo., to be credible when he testified a few weeks ago during the first part of his sentencing. But he did find Montano’s wife, who said he tried to strangle her and repeatedly beat her up throughout their marriage, credible when testified earlier this month.

Montano pleaded guilty in December to possession of firearms by a person convicted of domestic assault. He was convicted of domestic assault in 2007. According to evidence, he possessed three different firearms and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition last July while he and wife were camping or living at the Meskwaki casino’s RV park, according to court documents.

The domestic abuse charge originally filed in this case that involved his estranged wife was dismissed by the prosecution because there was jurisdiction issue but the court can consider the assault at sentencing.

Montano, during his statement to the court, wasn’t dissuaded by the judge’s perjury finding and blamed his wife for the abuse incidents, saying she was a “pathological liar.” He said she was the one who hit him and she would hit herself “all the time.” He called the woman “crazy and violent.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Williams asked the court to vary upward in guideline sentencing to 63 months because he is a “true danger to society.” When Montano’s grandparents were going to commit him to a hospital for mental health issues in 2005, he threatened to burn down their home. He also turned off his grandmother’s supplemental oxygen and ripped out the phone line to prevent her from calling for help, she said.

The prosecutor also cited past incidents where Montano, with his fist, busted out a girlfriend’s car window, shattering pieces of glass into her face, and another woman said she had to attempt to leave him while he was showering to ensure her escape from him.

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Judge Williams said Montano is a “dangerous and abusive” person who blames others, especially women, for what has happened to him. He pointed out that Montano assaulted another inmate in August over an argument about Bible verses while in jail pending sentencing.

The judge also ordered Montano to serve three years of supervised release following his prison time, and placed a no contact order, which prohibits Montano from contacting his estranged wife while on supervised release.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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