Guy Awaits Trial for—Get This— 7 Years at Rikers
Carlos Montero says he's 'depressed' and maintains his innocence
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2015 4:30 PM CDT
In this May 17, 2011 file photo, a section of the Rikers Island prison is seen in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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(Newser) – Carlos Montero has spent nearly seven years behind bars on Rikers Island without being found guilty of a crime. The Manhattan man, who says he's "depressed" and "wants to go home," is still awaiting trial in the killing of one man and the slashing of another during a street robbery back in 2008, the New York Post reports. Montero, now 24, denies being there when two of his pals mugged a guy for his jacket in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. But witnesses place him at the scene along with Jairo Peralta and Diangelo Enriquez, who, respectively, are accused of killing the robbery victim and cutting a guy who tried to run away. Maintaining his innocence, Montero turned down a plea deal that included a 15-year prison sentence.

"This case is gold medal-winning when it comes to delay," says a renowned civil-rights attorney. "The longest period of time I’ve heard of is about five years in New York state." Indeed, Montero has spent 2,423 days in jail, appeared 77 times in Manhattan Supreme Court, and cost the taxpayers over $1 million. So what's the hold-up? It's mostly over a legal battle waged by Enriquez about DNA evidence in the case. It's "totally unfair," says Montero's lawyer. Meanwhile, Kuby says he's aware of Kalief Browder, who killed himself after spending three years in Rikers awaiting trial. "I don’t think about killing myself because I love myself," says Montero. "I still think I can get justice." In other Rikers news: A guard allegedly lied about breaking a female inmate's arms, the Post reports, and three guards have been charged with killing another inmate, reports the New York Times.