PUEBLO, Colo. - If an inmate is executed for killing a prison guard, the victim's father says he will stand by the man who took his son's life.
Bob Autobee doesn't want the Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney's Office to seek the death penalty against Edward Montour. Initially, Autobee wanted Montour to be executed for killing his son, Eric Autobee. In 2002, Eric Autobee was working at a kitchen in the Limon Correctional Facility when Montour killed him.
Bob Autobee and Edward Montour spoke for the first time last December. "I am deeply, deeply sorry for the pain I've caused you and your family for killing your son," Montour told Bob Autobee.
"If we can make some good out of it, then Eric will smile down on us," Bob Autobee said to Montour.
Jury selection is underway in Castle Rock for Montour's retrial. Bob Autobee has protested outside of the courthouse. He wants potential jurors to know he doesn't want Montour to face the death penalty.
"For what it's going to cost to kill him, they could help the other 10 people in prison for the rest of their lives and it would still be cheaper than killing one individual," Bob Autobee said.
According to Bob Autobee, it was the state, not Montour, that killed his son. By placing a high-risk inmate in a medium-security facility, he said the state made it easy for Montour to kill. Instead of executing Montour, Autobee wants the money to be used to improve the state's prisons.
A spokesperson for the Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney, Lisa Pinto, said, "We greatly respect the right to free speech, but we are concerned about the integrity of the criminal justice process."
A fair retrial isn't possible, Bob Autobee said.