Here's one way to avoid being imprisoned for life on a felony charge: Try to be in jail on a less-serious misdemeanor charge at the same time that the felony crime occurs. This strategy worked for LaDondrell Montgomery, whose armed robbery conviction was just overturned by a Harris County, Texas judge.
Montgomery, 36, was in jail on December 13, 2009—the day of the alleged robbery offense—on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. But he didn't remember that fact because he kind of visits jail like we visit our local Stop 'n' Shop to pick up milk. "He couldn't remember," his lawyer, Ronald Ray, told the Houston Chronicle. "We asked him where he was on all the cases he's been charged with ...He just couldn't remember, for that particular date, where he was."
It wasn't until after Montgomery was sentenced and shipped off to the pokey that Ray realized that his client couldn't have possibly committed the robbery unless he'd had a time machine. Did Montgomery have a time machine? No, he only had a flat-screen television and a smartphone. When the judge presiding over the case realized that both Ray and the prosecutor hadn't noticed Montgomery's prior incarceration in his records, he called them "spectacularly incompetent." This assessment seems a bit unfair—particularly to Ray, who is representing Montgomery in a half-dozen other alleged robberies and trying to keep all the paperwork straight. Maybe he should get a Trapper Keeper and store the paperwork from each alleged robbery in separate folders.