Jury deadlocks in Steven G. Montano case

Published 11:39 pm Friday, October 25, 2019

Defendant gets new trial next June


A Franklin man is to get a new trial beginning July 7 after a jury failed to come to a consensus in his case on Thursday in Southampton County Circuit Court.

Since Oct. 15, Steven Gabriel Montano had defended himself against several charges of committing crimes of a violent and sexual nature against two juveniles from Aug. 1, 2012 to April 11, 2013.

Montano, aka Stefalonikus Apollos Marcius, was arrested on April 16, 2013, by two members of the Murfreesboro Police Department after learning the suspect was wanted by the Franklin Police Department.

The arrest came as the result of an investigation based on a report from social services about the sexual assault of a minor, according to then Franklin police spokesman Capt. Tim Whitt. More investigation revealed that two juvenile females under the age of 17 reported they were sexually assaulted by Montano. He’s the biological father of one of the girls and a guardian to the other. The sexual offenses are alleged to have taken place over several months while the inappropriate touching lasted for several years.

There were first seven charges, then two were not prosecuted. Three of the five remaining charges are rape-related, and two for committing an indecent act with a child by a parent.

Richard Francis, the Southampton Clerk of Court, told The Tidewater News that Judge Carl Eason gave an Allen Charge, which is an admonishment for a jury to make a decision.

As an aside, Francis mentioned this was one of, if not the longest jury trial in his experience as clerk.

Ninety minutes later, though, the 12 members announced they could not come to a unanimous agreement on the five charges against Montano, 37.

Acknowledging the deadlock, Eason declared a mistrial and asked the Commonwealth Attorney what that office wanted to do, which was answered with a request for a retrial.

The defendant asked for a bond hearing an hour later. That was considered and then denied.