The man accused of killing a Charleston woman whose body was found in a downtown park in 2006 pleaded guilty to murder today.
Tommy Montgomery, 32, who was already serving prison time for fatally stabbing a church music director 92 times, was sentenced to another 40 years in prison for killing 43-year-old Pamela Fyall Washington.
Montgomery smashed her head and slit her throat in a small park off Morris Street, according to authorities. Her body was found on June 23, 2006, but the investigation into the slaying had gone cold.
In June 2011, Montgomery was imprisoned after pleading guilty but mentally ill to the December 2009 stabbing death of Brandon Jamison in North Charleston. He was then required by state law to provide a DNA sample to prison officials.
His sample was fed into a State Law Enforcement Division database that stores the DNA profiles of more than 166,000 criminal offenders. It connected Montgomery to Washington’s killing, which had puzzled and frustrated investigators for years.
Montgomery’s DNA was found in Washington’s mouth and under her the fingernails, according to prosecutors. His fingerprints also were matched to prints on the glass bottle that was used to kill Washington, prosecutors said. The bottle was found at the scene.
“The collection of DNA from inmates when they enter the state prison system helps police investigators solve cases like this one, and helps prosecutors achieve some measure of closure for victims’ families,” said Assistant Solicitor Burns Wetmore, who prosecuted both cases.
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