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Cleveland: Judge Synenberg rejects plea change in priest killing

4:54 PM, Jan 1, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Joan Synenberg has rejected a request by a former Franciscan brother to withdraw his guilty plea in the 2002 shooting death of a Roman Catholic priest.

Daniel Montgomery is serving a 24-year sentence after pleading guilty ten years ago to murder and aggravated arson in the shooting of Rev. William Gulas, pastor of St. Stanislaus Church in Cleveland.

The 47-year-old Montgomery, originally from suburban Philadelphia, apologized to Gulas' family at his 2003 plea hearing and sentencing.

Synenberg turned down Montgomery's request Friday on the basis of a legal doctrine that bars the reconsideration of issues that have already been ruled on.

Montgomery's attorney Barry Wilford, who argues that prosecutors withheld evidence and Montgomery may have falsely confessed, said Tuesday the issue will be appealed.

Associated Press

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