Inmate Edward Montour.

(Photo: Courtesy of CDOC)
Jury selection began Monday in the death penalty trial of a Colorado prison inmate accused of killing a guard 12 years ago.

Edward Montour pleaded guilty to killing Corrections Officer Eric Autobee and a judge sentenced Montour to death in 2003.

But the state Supreme Court ruled that sentence unconstitutional since only a jury can hand down death sentences.

And in another twist, the victim’s father, Bob Autobee is asking the District Attorney not to seek the death penalty. 

“It just feels a little bit odd after case after case that the reason we pursue the death penalty is because of victims,” University of Colorado Law School professor Aya Gruber said.  “Now we have victim who doesn’t want it and we’re still doing it anyway.”

When District Attorney George Brauchler announced in April plans to seek the death penalty, the district attorney said he was considering not only the victim’s family but other prison guards as well.

Montour is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.