Slain Franklin man's family decries possible plea deal
Posted May 25, 2011
Franklinton, N.C. — The accused killer of a Franklin County man, who has been charged with another crime while in jail, might never go to trial if he and prosecutors reach a plea deal.
Franklinton police say that Rashawn Arrington, 24, shot Jesse Montague Jr., 27, in the back as he drove along Sterling Street on Sept. 20. Montague's car crashed into a gas pump at a nearby Exxon station, sparking an explosion and a 10-foot fireball.
"Every day, we wish that we could see him," the victim's father, Jesse Montague Sr., said.
Arrington was charged with first-degree murder, but Montague said the district attorney's office informed him they are working on a plea deal. Arrington would plead guilty to second-degree murder, which does not carry a life prison sentence.
"I cannot get my son back. Our family will never see him again," Montague said. "Therefore, I think he should never see his family again."
Montague said there's a strong case for first-degree murder, because several people saw Arrington pull the trigger. He's a danger to the community, Montague argued.
While in the Franklin County jail, Arrington has been charged with assaulting a detention officer. Jail officials say he punched the officer in the face, breaking his nose and eye socket.
Arrington also has previous convictions for larceny from a person and felony drug possession.
"He doesn't deserve to breathe fresh air as we do today," Montague said.
The father said he doesn't understand why the district attorney's office wouldn't send the case to trial.
"I feel like they should go ahead and roll up their sleeves and do their job," Montague said.
District Attorney Sam Currin said he's bound by ethics and can't comment on a pending case. Arrington's attorneys confirmed that they have discussed a plea deal but didn't comment further.
Arrington is due in court Monday.
Montague said that once the criminal proceedings are done, he plans on taking civil action against Arrington.
"My son deserved more than this," he said.