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Robbery suspect was free after murder conviction

Posted October 20, 2009

— One of three men charged in a Zebulon robbery was out of prison after serving only 17 years of a life prison sentence for second-degree murder.

Police on Monday charged Carlton Darnell Montague, 51, with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon in the weekend home invasion.

Carlton Montague, staged Zebulon home invasion Home-invasion suspect was convicted of murder

Authorities say he and Marion Palmer Yarborough, 40, forced themselves inside 64-year-old Gladerene Pretty's home and took cash, jewelry and documents before fleeing. She was not physically harmed but said Tuesday she was emotionally distraught.

Investigators have also charged her foster son, Rashaad A’Keem Yarborough, 19, with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Montague, according to court records, was sentenced to life in prison in 1979 after being found guilty of second-degree murder.

According to Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, state law at the time allowed for Montague to be eligible for parole after serving 10 years of his sentence. Those convicted of first-degree murder were eligible for parole after serving 20 years of their sentence.

The law changed in 1994 to define a sentence of life imprisonment as one without the possibility of parole, but it was not retroactive, according to Karl Knudsen, a former Wake County prosecutor at the time of Montague's trial.

Department of Correction records show that Marion Yarborough, Rashaad Yarborough's uncle, was released in April after serving 14 months for common-law robbery. He spent nearly 12 of the past 22 years in prison for various convictions, including armed robbery, felony breaking and entering and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The arrests come at the same time the state is scrambling to help transition into society 20 violent criminals who are set to be freed next week under a state Supreme Court ruling.

Although the circumstances surrounding the releases in those cases are different, the examples highlight the issues and concerns of criminals who offend again after being set free.

"It's an unfortunate reality that there is recidivism and that some people don't learn when they're in prison," Knudsen said. "This is one of those situations where the result of it doesn't particularly look good, but we are society of laws and the laws apply equally to the government as they do to the individual."

Marion Yarborough was being held Tuesday under a $100,000 bond, while Montague was being held under a $75,000 bond. Rashaad Yarborough was being held under a $50,000 bond.


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  • didisaythat Oct 21, 2009

    I guess all the repeat offenders will soon be able to sue the state for not rehabilitating them and it is actually the taxpayers fault for their crimes.

  • Professor Oct 21, 2009

    The law is the law and there is nothing one can do. lol Free at last.........

  • sssh.. whisper Oct 21, 2009

    I agree with floseh... then we could all lead happier lives

  • floseh Oct 21, 2009

    Do any of you remember the movie "Pappillion"? Thats what we need now. A Devils Island prison. Why not re-open Alcatraz? But a place to send them where they can't come back from.
    The Floseh

  • angora2 Oct 21, 2009

    According to what I read yesterday, the law that allows these people out early was passed when there was a Republican majority in our state's legislature. Not that politics has any place in this conversation.

  • angora2 Oct 21, 2009

    "PRISON/Basketball, weights, free medical care, three meals a day, no job (prisons can't require inmates to work) and 16 hours of TV every day"

    Don't forget the air-conditioning.

  • Space Mountain Oct 21, 2009

    The problem is most people don't learn after going to prison. Our whole legal system is a mess, especially in NC.

  • willowisthankfulforchristmas Oct 21, 2009

    this is why I say one bullet to the head after conviction with dna proving them guilty and any other evidence, these scum cannot be rehabilitated

  • ambidextrous cat Oct 21, 2009

    Liberalism is the main reason why criminals commit crimes. Riiiight.

  • me2you Oct 21, 2009

    What is up with the justice system? What do you have to do to serve out a sentence. Geez! What incentive is there to not committ crimes around here?