Man accused of killing infant, wounding mother with battle ax - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Man accused of killing infant, wounding mother with battle ax

(NBC) – A preliminary hearing for accused ax murderer Harold Montague began Monday with graphic testimony from one of the victims.

Montague is accused of murdering a 4-month-old infant, nearly killing the baby's mother and stabbing his sister-in-law with a medieval-style battle ax in her Las Vegas home in February.

The accused killer sat emotionless in court as he listened to the mountain of evidence presented in a crime often depicted in horror films.

Court-appointed defense attorneys have described their client as "paranoid" and "delusional."

Witnesses say that Montague exhibited no signs of rage February 11, when police reports indicate he stabbed his disabled sister-in-law before attacking a mother and her four-month-old child with a battle ax.

The alleged murder weapon was displayed as evidence in court Monday, along with testimony from the surviving mother.

"My face and my head. Those were the parts of my body where he was striking me," a Spanish translator explained.

Sandra Castro's scars, both physical and emotional, are evident considering her infant son didn't survive the attack.

A neighbor who called 911, Teresa Garner, also testified that she first noticed the glare of the ax being swing outside her bedroom window.  She then went to her front yard to investigate.

"There is a man beating a woman with a hatchet," Garner can be heard saying on the 911 tapes. The preliminary hearing will most likely last through the end of the week.

The Justice of the Peace will then determine whether there is enough evidence for Montague to stand trial for murder. Prosecutors believe the accused ax murderer will be eligible for the death penalty.

While there may not have been pre-meditation, prosecutors argue that there were aggravating circumstances, including that one of the victims was under 14 years of age.

Montague's preliminary hearing will continue on Thursday with testimony from the coroner.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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