Father opposes death penalty for son's killer

PUEBLO, Colo. - A Pueblo man opposes the death penalty for the man who killed his son.

In 2002, Eric Autobee was killed by prison inmate Edward Montour while working in a kitchen at Limon Correctional Facility. Eric's father, Bob Autobee, says the area was under camera supervision, but there was no one observing them from the control room at the time.

"They put maximum-security inmates in medium-security facilities and they don't make any kind of visual distinction between the two," Bob Autobee said. He says the death penalty will not deter inmates from committing crimes and will only cause victims' families further heartache.

Initially, Autobee wanted his son's killer to face the death penalty, but he says he can't gain an eye for an eye.

Autobee said, "There is nothing about Montour's life that would equal my son's life."

Last year, Autobee had a change of heart about capital punishment. He says instead of spending money to keep inmates on death row, the state should use that money to safeguard the prison system. A solution that, he says, could have saved his son's life.

"Colorado's got a champagne taste on a beer budget. We cannot spend $20 million to kill one individual and expect to keep the state sovereign and workable," Autobee said.

Ten years after Autobee's son was killed by an inmate, another corrections officer was also killed by an inmate in Colorado. Last year, Mary Ricard was killed at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility. Miguel Contreras-Perez was charged with her death.

"My son, Mary Ricard, [Tom] Clements. It's all uncalled for and somebody needs to take control," Autobee said.

Montour is serving life in prison, without parole. A hearing is scheduled for Montour on Tuesday. His attorney says they want to rescind the guilty plea.

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