Pasco murder suspect 'major problem' in jail

Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldJune 17, 2014 

A Pasco man accused of killing a friend and stuffing her body in a closet has caused several thousand dollars worth of damage at the Franklin County jail, officials said Tuesday.

Guadalupe Montejano, 48, has been a "major problem" at the jail while he awaits trial for first-degree murder, said jail Capt. Rick Long.

Most of Montejano's time at the jail since he was arrested in January for the murder of Tamie Clark-Acevedo has been spent in a maximum-security isolation cell.

Montejano wrecked a smoke detector and made a knife from it, smashed a window, destroyed a light fixture, dismantled a faucet and tried to clog up the plumbing in his cell, officials said.

He also has threatened to throw urine and feces on jail staff, sometimes even posting a note in his cell warning them of his intentions.

Jail officials have sent details of the damage to prosecutors to review for possible charges of felony malicious mischief, said Sheriff Richard Lathim.

"He's done everything he can to destroy anything he can get his hands on," Lathim said. "We've had people in those cells for 28 years and never has anybody done damage like that."

Investigators claim Montejano attacked and killed Clark-Acevedo, 46, inside his apartment then covered her body with a sleeping bag in his closet, prosecutors say. The Pasco woman suffered a cut to her throat and severe head injuries.

His trial is set for Jan. 12 in Franklin County Superior Court.

Montejano appeared in court on Tuesday and Prosecutor Shawn Sant told a judge of the jail damage.

Shelly Ajax, Montejano's attorney, complained her client was being mistreated at the jail and there was a "very serious" possibility a lawsuit could be filed.

Montejano is not allowed to wear any clothes other than his underwear. Also, his mattress was taken, forcing him to sleep on a concrete floor, she said. The public defender claimed Montejano was in restraints for up to a week and is not allowed to use anything to write with.

The conditions Montejano faces at the jail are making it difficult for his case to move forward, Ajax told the judge.

"Sleeping on concrete floors for months and months with my client's mental conditions (is) not good," she said.

Long confirmed Montejano has not been allowed to wear clothes in his cell or sleep on a mattress. The murder suspect has had all privileges taken away because of his behavior and is locked in his cell for about 72 hours at a time.

Montejano was dressed in orange jail coveralls Tuesday when he came to the courtroom.

After the hearing, jail officials agreed to let Montejano wear his jail uniform in his cell as long as he doesn't use it to destroy the cell or hurt himself, Long said.

Lathim told the Herald that Montejano is still a danger to staff, other prisoners and himself.

"All of his constitutional needs are being met," he said. "We just have to limit what he has access to."

-- Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556; trichardson@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

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