Charges dropped against man accused in West Chester apartment shooting

Charges were dropped Friday against a Cincinnati man arrested Wednesday night in the shooting of a 25-year-old woman at her West Chester Twp. residence.

Courtney Montgomery was originally charged with aggravated robbery and felonious assault for the incident that happened about 1:30 p.m. at The Highlands of West Chester on Fountains Boulevard.

Montgomery was video arraigned Thursday in area court where a $1 million bond was set. Less than 24-hours later, Montgomery was released. His attorney says he was lured to the residence for a robbery attempt and defended himself.

Montgomery’s attorney, Clyde Bennett II, said “they have got this all wrong. He was lured to the apartment.”

One of the women invited Montgomery into the apartment to “hang out,” Bennett said. “This was a setup and text messages indicate all of this.”

When Montgomery arrived, one of the women “pulled a gun on him” for a robbery attempt, Bennett said

“They fight over the gun. (Montgomery) does shoot to get the girl off him,” Bennett said. “It is self-defense.”

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said dismissal of the charges is “based on conflicting evidence in the case, and therefore it does not support probable cause.”

Following a brief hearing Friday afternoon in Area III Court, both felony charges were dismissed. The investigation continues, according to police and prosecutors.

After Montgomery was arrested, detectives continued to investigate and “uncovered new evidence that showed the incident was not a home invasion as it was originally reported to 911 and responding police officers. Investigators have confirmed Mr. Montgomery was the man involved in the shooting but other descriptions of his actions were found to be inaccurate,” according to a statement released by West Chester police.

Bennett said after the dismissal: “I respect, appreciate and admire the professional integrity of Mr. Gmoser and Mr. (Brad) Burress for dismissing this case. It was the proper, right and just thing to do and for that, my client, his family and I are thankful.”

Bennett said the women in the apartment are at fault.

“They lured my client to their home in an attempt to rob him. Their plan backfired when Mr. Montgomery defended himself with a gun. Thereafter, they lied to the 911 operator and the West Chester Police Department in an attempt to cover up their own plan,” Bennett said. “I do not possess the prosecutorial spirit to wish criminal charges upon anybody. However whatever happens to these to individuals ... happens.”

A woman called dispatchers to report a woman with a gunshot wound inside an apartment. The victim was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

A 22-year-old woman who called 911 said she and the victim did not “really know” who the person was who fired the shot.

In the 911 call, the woman says the shooter left his cell phone behind. She also indicated that the suspect had the wrong apartment and someone tried to wrestle the gun away from him when the shooting happened.

A child, identified by police as a girl, is heard on the 911 call say, “Mommy, mommy.”

The victim says she can’t breathe.

“Please hurry up. I have a 4-year-old,” the victim says.

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