MAYVILLE – A Jamestown murder suspect has been re-indicted by a Chautauqua County Grand Jury.
Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone tells WNYNewsNow that Julio E. Montanez is facing a count of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder, the same charges as the original indictment dated Nov. 2019.
Barone says Montanez was arraigned Monday afternoon in Chautauqua County Court, where he plead not guilty. Bail was set at $150,000 cash or $300,000 property bond.
Judge David Foley dismissed a grand jury indictment on Oct. 1 for one count of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree attempted murder returned against Montanez.
“This case is back in the posture it was three weeks ago and is again moving forward toward trial,” Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson said in a statement. “I want to thank the members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the Forensic Investigation Team involved in re-presenting this matter. I sincerely appreciate their professionalism.”
Barone previously told WNYNewsNow that his office argued that Swanson failed to inform the grand jury of the justifiable option, i.e.: self-defense.
“It really doesn’t matter whether or not there was self-defense, but more importantly, it was an issue that had to have been presented to the grand jury and wasn’t,” explained Barone. “We argued that because it was an exculpatory defense, meaning that charges could be dismissed if a juror believed it was self-defense, and was not presented as need be by the district attorney during grand jury.”
Barone says he and his staff submitted the motion to dismiss in September.
Montanez was previously charged with first-degree manslaughter by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, who say Montanez allegedly shot and killed Justin M. Gibbons, 29, of Mayville, following a dispute in an alleyway near 114 W. Main St. in Sherman just after 1:30 a.m., Oct. 6.
Gibbons was shot multiple times while he was attempting to flee the area in a vehicle, investigators said.
He was transported to Westfield Memorial Hospital by the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department Ambulance where he was later pronounced dead.
D.A. Swanson had 30 days to bring the case back to grand jury.
Swanson says Montanez is due back in court for a conference on Nov. 16. The District attorney adds that the charge of second-degree murder carries a maximum indeterminate state prison sentence of 25 years-to-life while the second-degree attempted murder charges carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison with five years of post-release supervision.