Inmate pleads guilty to killing prison guard, avoids death penalty

Inmate pleads guilty to killing guard, avoids death penalty

PUEBLO, Colo. - An inmate who killed a Colorado prison guard pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Thursday to avoid the death penalty.

Edward Montour killed Eric Autobee at the Limon Correctional Facility in 2002. Autobee's father initially wanted Montour to be executed but said he had a change of heart several years ago.

"They say the death penalty is the ultimate. I don't think so. I think life in prison is the ultimate penalty," Bob Autobee said. "My son had no hate in him. It would have dishonored him to have had Edward killed in his name, and so his honor is intact."

Montour was serving a life sentence for killing his infant daughter in 1997 when he killed Eric Autobee using a ladle in the prison's kitchen.

"Obviously he killed my son but there was other reasons behind it and it showed the weakness of our penal system," Bob Autobee said.

Autobee believes high-risk prisoners are still being placed in low-risk facilities. "That's unacceptable. That's how these things happen," he said.

Autobee plans on continuing to advocate against the death penalty but said he wants to spend more time with his family.

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