Stabbing suspect: 'I want a jury'

Apr. 25—CATLETTSBURG — A 70-year-old accused of stabbing a man last fall demanded a jury hear his case during a pre-trial conference on Thursday before he was removed from the proceeding for disruptive outbursts.

Jesus Montanez, of Ashland, appeared virtually from the Boyd County Jail where he was lodged in October 2023 following an alleged stabbing in the 3100 block of Railroad Avenue.

The wounded man was transported to a nearby trauma center via helicopter with serious injuries according to police reports.

Following the incident, investigators with Ashland Police Department tracked down Montanez at his residence by use of license plate information supposedly matching Montanez's vehicle, according to court records.

Montanez was indicted on a sole count of first-degree assault in October and entered a not-guilty plea the following month.

On Thursday, Montanez was joined by his court-appointed attorney, Alea Hipes, and a language interpreter as Montanez is primarily Spanish-speaking.

As Hipes began to relay to Boyd Circuit Judge John Vincent that she met with Montanez for the first time last week, the interpreter's job proved to be a challenging one as she attempted to translate for all the parties at one time.

Hipes had only briefly requested additional time to review the case when Montanez began a barrage of statements in which he demanded a jury to hear his side.

Judge Vincent instructed the interpreter to let Montanez know the court would hear Montanez's defense but it would be wise to do so through his attorney, as speaking out in court was not recommended.

"I have the same rights as any other American," Montanez said. "They need to look at this from two sides, not one."

The interpreter again attempted to relay Montanez's statements for the court during his short pauses but the overlapping chatter between Montanez's rant and Hipes telling him to "stop" resulted in Judge Vincent muting the jail's microphone so Montanez could no longer be heard.

The interpreter also appeared via video conference and could not see that deputy jailers had led Montanez out of the jail's holding room for his disruptions, so she continued Spanish translation for a now absent Montanez.

With order restored, Judge Vincent scheduled Montanez to reappear for May 16.

Hipes said she hopes to have an idea of the case's trajectory by that point.

Montanez's first-degree assault charge is a class B felony which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence if convicted.

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