CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Edward Montour, an inmate being tried for the second time for the killing of a Colorado prison guard, pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence on Thursday.

Edward Montour (credit: CBS)

Edward Montour (credit: CBS)

A plea agreement was reached to drop the death penalty Thursday morning.

Montour is charged with killing prison guard Eric Autobee in 2002 at the Limon Correctional Facility by striking him in the head with a kitchen ladle. Montour was serving a life sentence at the time for the killing of his 11-month-old daughter.

He earlier pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but changed his mind to spare his own life.

Eric Autobee (credit: CBS)

Eric Autobee (credit: CBS)

Late last year Montour and Bob Autobee, Eric’s father, 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.

In court on Thursday, Bob Autobee got up and addressed Montour saying, “The fight that I put up for you was in honor of my son.”

“I heard the district attorney say the ultimate penalty is death,” Bob Autobee said. “I don’t believe that. I believe the ultimate penalty is life in prison. But Edward has the potential to save himself if he finds his way back to God.”

Montour got up before the judge and said that he lives with a “sense of sadness” and will have to carry the burden of what he did for the rest of his life. He also thanked the Autobee family.

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