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Colorado Dad Expected To Be Joined In His Death Penalty Protest

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – The father of a murder victim is expected to get support in his protest against the death penalty on Wednesday.

A jury was being picked on Wednesday for the trial of Edward Montour, a man Bob Autobee has forgiven for the killing of his son.

Montour is charged with killing prison guard Eric Autobee in 2002 at the Limon Correctional Facility. Montour was serving time at the time of the murder for killing his daughter. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Autobee has been outside the Arapahoe County courthouse each day with signs in hand that state his opposition to the death penalty in general and in this case. They contain a picture of his son Eric.

Edward Montour (credit: CBS)

Edward Montour (credit: CBS)

Late last year Montour and Autobee sat down together in a courtroom and met face to face in an unusual meeting.

“I told him I’ll be at the courthouse but I’ll be outside picketing because I don’t believe it’s justice. The death penalty will not bring me any satisfaction,” Autobee told Montour during the meeting.

During the meeting Montour said he was “deeply sorry for the pain he caused.”

“I am not sure if I would have the courage to do what you are doing and I want to thank you for this opportunity,” Montour said at the time.

Eric Autobee (credit: CBS)

Eric Autobee (credit: CBS)

Autobee said on Tuesday that “even if Montour wouldn’t have apologized, I still had to let him know that I had forgiven him.”

The Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office has issued a statement which reacts in part to Montour’s potential influence on jurors with his protest that says in part:

“We greatly respect the right to free speech, but we are concerned about the integrity of the criminal justice process.”

DOMINIC DEZZUTTI’S BLOG: Will Autobee’s Protest Trigger Bigger Death Penalty Discussion?

Autobee said the district attorney came to his house recently to discuss the case.

“I told him ‘I don’t want you to pursue the death penalty. My son would not want you to pursue the death penalty,’ ” Autobee said.

Family members of two different murder victims — Colleen O’Conner and Mary Ricard– are expected to join Montour on Wednesday afternoon outside the courthouse in his protest. Both of the accused killers in those cases face the possibility of execution.

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