Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

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Normal Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:09 pm



By JIM AVILA (@JimAvilaABC) , GEOFF MARTZ and JOANNE NAPOLITANO
Aug. 27, 2011

The Internet is known as a breeding ground for illicit affairs between people often hiding behind fake names and handles. But most such virtual relationships aren't dangerous as this -- when "Talhotblond" and "MarineSniper" struck up a relationship online, it ended in murder.

MarineSniper was 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two. In May, 2005, posing as a young, handsome Iraq-bound Marine, he entered a teen chat room the popular game site "Pogo."

When 18-year-old Talhotblond started instant-messaging him, he decided to pretend he was 18 too.

"I kept thinking, well, we're never going to meet. ... I'll just play the game with her," he said.

Before long, the flirtation became a romance.

Talhotblond's instant messages revealed that her real name was Jessi, a softball-playing high school senior from West Virginia. She sent Montgomery photos that lived up to her screen name ... and then some.

"There were some ... very provocative poses," he said.

In return, Jessi wanted to see what he looked like too; so he sent her his photo from Marine boot camp.

The picture was 30 years out of date. Montgomery's screen name, Marinesniper, was a nostalgic harkening back to the six years he spent in the military as a young man.

He has hinted darkly of covert ops and dark deeds best unmentioned, but U.S. Marine records obtained by "20/20" show that although he qualified as a sharpshooter, he never trained as a sniper or saw action.

But for Jessi, he invented a younger, stronger, more virile version of himself, called "Tommy." "He was my height, 6 feet tall, had bright red hair," said Montgomery, "big shoulders, muscles and all that."

Instant messages recovered from his computer show that the online relationship began to consume Montgomery. He told "20/20" that this relationship "became more real to me than real life."

The feeling seemed to be mutual. Jessi and "Tommy" exchanged gifts, phone calls and love letters.

"I love you always and forever, Tommy," wrote Jessi.

"I have never felt this way," Montgomery responded.

The relationship had become more than a flirtation, Montgomery said.

"There was virtual sex going on in there between her and Tommy," he said.

While Montgomery said the virtual sex made him "feel kind of dirty," he was in too deep to sever ties with her.

"If I was smart, I would've just ended it, but it was like a, a drug that I needed every day," he said.

Montgomery seemed to be losing touch with reality. He wrote a note to himself: "On January 2, 2006 Tom Montgomery (46 years old) ceases to exist and is replaced by a 18-year old battle-scarred marine ... He is moving to West Virginia to be with the love of his life."

Online Fantasy World Crashes

Fate finally took a hand. In March 2006, Montgomery told "20/20" one of his daughters was using his computer when Jessi happened to instant message him. Montgomery's wife, alerted by her daughter, found a trove of love letters, photos and mementos from Jessi, including a pair of red panties. She sent Jessi a photo of her family and a letter.

"Let me introduce you to these people," she wrote. "The man in the center is Tom, my husband since 1989. ... He is 46 years old."

Montgomery said Jessi was horrified, and broke off the relationship immediately. "She sends me a text message and says, she hates me ... you should be put in jail for this," he told "20/20."

But Jessi also e-mailed one of Montgomery's co-workers, a 22-year-old, good looking, part-time machinist and college student named Brian Barrett, to see if it was really true.

Brian's screen name is "Beefcake" and as he consoled Jessi online, she seemed to find a better fit with him -- and perhaps a way to strike back at the combat Marine who wasn't.

Before long, Jessi was sending Brian her photos and the two had become a cyberitem. Marinesniper became consumed with jealousy -- and he wasn't about to take it lying down.

"Brian will pay in blood," Montgomery instant messaged Jessi at one point.

His messages became increasingly violent, as he was forced to watch their romance blossom in the same chat rooms he used to frequent with Jessi.

"He was enraged," said former prosecutor Ken Case. "I mean, it oftentimes shocked me when I saw the names that he would call her."

Jessi and Berrett took to the Internet to make sure everyone knew Montgomery (who recently had a birthday) was a liar.

"They were then going into these chat rooms, and letting people know that he was actually 47 years old," said Case. "They almost made him out to be a pedophile."

But the IMs that came from Talhotblond showed her to be torn --- mad one instant, desperate to return to a love with a man who she knew didn't exist ... teasing him.

She continued her talking to Montgomery online:

Talhotblond: i ache to be with tommy

Talhotblond: do you miss it tom

Marinesniper: more then u will ever know

Marinesniper: my heart aches to hear you call me your tommie

Marinesniper: i wish i could be that 19 yr old marine for u

Talhotblond: i know tom

Talhotblond Rekindles Cyberaffair

Jessi took up with Montgomery again.

"In his mind, this was the jackpot," said Barbara Schroeder, who documented the bizarre relationship in a documentary called "Talhotblond." "He was being accepted for being 47, and he still had this hot young girl who wanted him."

Montgomery knew he was in way over his head, but he couldn't bring himself to end things with her.

"It was like a drug. I was addicted to it," he said. "I couldn't just, just end it."

At one point, when his wife actually told him to get off the computer and talk to her, Montgomery couldn't. "I just told her I'll get off when I'm done," he recalled.

Montgomery says nothing sexual happened between them after Talhotblond found out how old he was, but their IMs tell a different story:

Marinesniper: wish you were nude

Talhotblond: what would ya do?

Marinesniper: stare

Talhotblond: that all

Marinesniper: nope

Marinesniper: u might get the magic

Talhotblond: mmmmm

Talhotblond: make love to me tommy

But it didn't last. Jessi told Montgomery they were through, and seemed to take up with Barrett again. Montgomery began to go into a downward spiral.

"The obsession turns into jealousy, and then the jealousy turns into betrayal and revenge," said District Attorney Frank Sedita. "You really start to get a, a sense of this person going into an abyss. And it's, it's kind of frightening."

And then ... the tipping point. Barrett said he was going to meet Talhotblond -- in person.

"He actually drove down to, I think North Carolina," said Case. "And on his way back, he was saying, 'I'm going right past your house. I'd love to get together.'"

Jessi texted him at the last minute not to visit, but Montgomery, who had learned of the plan to meet, was incensed.

On Sept. 15, 2006, as Barrett left work, three shots rang out. Brian Barrett was found dead in the parking lot where he worked, shot three times by a military rifle.

Police quickly learned of the Internet love triangle from co-workers. And when they couldn't find Thomas Montgomery, they feared they knew just where he was headed.

"At three in the morning," Capt. Ron Kenyon told "20/20," "our first concern was talking to Jessi and making sure she was still alive.

But when police arrived at her home, they were in for another surprise: A woman named Mary Shieler opened the door.

Talhotblond's Shocking Secret

As police questioned her, she revealed a shocking truth: She was the one who had been sending messages to Montgomery and Barrett under the handle Talhotblond. The pictures she sent Montgomery were actually those of her daughter, the real Jessi, who had no knowledge of her mother's cyberlife.

Montgomery was charged and later plead guilty to the murder of Brian Barrett. In exchange for his plea, he received a 20-year sentence. Prosecutors said their discovery of Montgomery's DNA on a peach pit found at the crime scene and a photo of Montgomery family's gun cabinet -- which showed the type of old military rifle that police believe was used to shoot Barrett -- were key to their case against Montgomery.

Prosecutors in Buffalo, meanwhile, looked for a way to charge Mary Shieler for something -- anything -- in the case but concluded she may have tramped all over the moral and ethical line, but never crossed the legal one.

"Shame on her -- she not only didn't do anything about it, I think she provoked it," said Ken Case. "Unfortunately in New York State, you have to do a little something more to be criminally liable."

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Normal Re: Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:34 pm

Thomas Montgomery: Bizarre Love Triangle

By Kristal Hawkins
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Brian Barrett

Daniel Barrett still does not understand how his son ended up a victim. The death of young Brian Barrett certainly shocked his family and friends.

Barrett had been a good kid and a star athlete. He had been on the football team too, but baseball was his game. The former third baseman still holds his high school's record for the longest home run. His old coach, Starpoint High School Athletic Director Tom Sarkovics, says he never heard anyone say a negative word about the guy.

After high school, Barrett played ball in the Midget League and was voted Most Valuable Player. But by then it was just a game for him: He went to work at a machine shop as soon as he graduated in June 2002. He saved up enough money to buy his Ford Ranger, but then in December he was laid off.

That disappointment prompted him to reconsider college. He enrolled at Erie Community College, and found a job at Dynabrade at the same time. Once he got his two-year associate degree, he transferred to Buffalo State College, where he was studying to become an industrial arts teacher at the time of his murder.

His life was just starting. Barrett still lived with his parents, Dan and Deb Barrett, on Minnick Road in nearby Lockport, in the childhood room decorated with his sports trophies, posters and photos of him with his younger brothers, Daniel and Richard.

His grandfather, Harry Barrett called him Lurch. Barrett was tall and strong, but shy, just finding his footing in the world. He'd started camping and traveling, seeing a little of the world outside the Buffalo area. Earlier in 2006, he'd gone to North Carolina on a camping trip. While there, he tried sky diving for the first time—he told his parents about this only after the jump, afraid that they'd worry about him if they knew.

But it turned out that the mortal danger would come from one of Barrett's coworkers, Thomas Montgomery.

Tommy

"Tommy" Montgomery was an 18-year-old Marine about to be deployed to Iraq. He described himself online as 6'2, 180 pounds. He said he had a black belt in karate and that he already sported an array of battle scars.

He met a 17-year-old girl from West Virginia, Jessi, on the game site Pogo.com in the spring of 2005. He told her his mom had died of cancer when he was twelve. She sympathized, and he opened up. He had raped a cheerleader in high school, he said, but then had turned himself around and followed his dad, Tommy Sr., into the Marines.

Tommy and Jessi spent more and more time chatting online on Pogo, MySpace and Yahoo. They even scheduled 10-minute phone conversations each day, before and after Tommy's military duties. When Tommy was in Iraq, his father passed messages and photos between the two, through his Marine contacts.

Tommy got jealous when he started suspecting that Jessi was sending her photos to other men online too. To make it up to him, she sent him one of her thongs and a silver chain. Tommy calmed down and forgave her—but Tommy Sr. stepped in and sternly warned her not to hurt his sensitive, inexperienced son.

Still, he kept relaying their messages. When Tommy considered suicide in Iraq, Jessi kept him going. He said she was the best thing that ever happened to him. She sent him some custom-made dogtags. He tattooed her name on his arm.

And on Christmas Day, 2005, Tommy asked Jessi to marry him. She said yes. They'd never even met.

If they had, Jessi and Tommy would both have realized that nearly everything that they had told each other was a lie.

Thomas Montgomery
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As 2006 approached, Thomas Montgomery, 48, started telling coworkers that he was going to leave his wife and move to West Virginia to be with the love of his life. And, from notes investigators later found amongst his papers at Dynabrade, he seems to have also been telling himself that this was possible—that it was just a matter of time before he transformed his paunchy, middle-aged self into "Tommy," the buff young Marine he'd claimed to be.

Montgomery had completed a stint in the Marines when he was young, and he had a history of depression. "Tommy" played Texas hold 'em online; Montgomery was Dynabrade's reigning euchre champ. That's where the similarities end.

Montgomery was masquerading not only as "Tommy" but also as "Tom Sr." His dual roles may have made all this acting and fiction-writing even more interesting to him—and it made it possible to get Jessi's packages at his Buffalo home when "Tommy" was supposedly deployed in Iraq.

But one of those packages would expose his fictions—and escalate the fantasy into a dangerous situation in which out-of-control passions would lead to disaster.

Unmasked!

Montgomery's wife Cindy was increasingly frustrated by the long evenings her husband spent on the computer. He was even throwing their 12- and 14-year-old daughters off the computer so he could play online all night.

When she happened to intercept some mail including lingerie that Jessi sent "Tommy", it began to make sense. She snooped around a little and soon discovered that her husband had a whole collection of underwear from this young woman. Cindy Montgomery was angry, and she felt protective of underage Jessi, barely older than her own daughters.

She wrote Jessi at the return address on the package. She told her that "Tommy" was her husband of 16 years, and nothing like what he'd told her. As proof, or to tug at the girl's heartstrings, she enclosed a photo of the whole family, including the girls and their dog Shadow, in front of their small, pale yellow house on East Grand Boulevard in Cheektowaga.

Then Cindy confronted "Tommy." She suggested they separate. Montgomery moved into the basement.

Jessi was stunned. She looked to "Tommy's" friends list at Pogo.com to find out more. That's how she contacted Brian Barrett. He confirmed everything Montgomery's wife had told her. Barrett and Jessi started playing online bingo together. They flirted, and struck up their own salacious online relationship. Yet she still emailed the unmasked Montgomery, seemingly unable to resist the alter ego he'd created, even knowing it was entirely fictional.

Unsurprisingly, Jessi's divided affection caused some tension between the two men.

Heating Up

The three exchanged heated messages. Barrett and Jessi accused Montgomery of being a child predator. They managed to get him banned from some of the message boards they frequented. Jessi gave Barrett her password, and this normally nice guy masqueraded as Jessi online to taunt Montgomery from her accounts, and Barrett flaunted both his relationship with Jessi and Montgomery's imposture at the factory.

In his still-ongoing emails to Jessi, Montgomery hinted he was suicidal; she softened a little. She even told him that she'd dump Barrett. She did, briefly. It happened to be when Barrett was making that trip to North Carolina. He'd hoped to visit her on the way, but she wouldn't let him. With Barrett on the backburner, Montgomery forgave Jessi, but threatened that something bad might happen if he found out she was lying about anything.

She renewed her email romance with Barrett, though, soon after his trip. Montgomery grew increasingly jealous. He started working out and running, trying to look more like the young man he'd claimed to be—or to prepare for something. His manner became so threatening that he frightened his coworkers.

The morning of September 15, the day of Barrett's murder, Montgomery sent Jessi a few Instant Messages via Yahoo. She ignored him. He called and screamed incoherently at her. She hung up on him.

Several times later that night, after the time of the murder, he IM'd Jessi again.

Jessi?

Police interviewed coworkers in the days following the discovery of Barrett's body.

Dynabrade employees told them about the rivalry between Montgomery and Barrett, and that Montgomery had been acting increasingly strangely. He'd been talking more and more about guns, and had pointedly asked a coworker about Barrett's schedule.

Erie County Lieutenant Ron Kenyon called Jessi and warned her she might be in danger. He also immediately sent West Virginian police to talk to her at her family's Oak Hill home. When Officer J. L. Kirk got to her house, Jessi wasn't home. Her mother, Mary Sheiler, said she hadn't been in all day and wouldn't be back soon. Knowing that Kenyon had just phoned Jessi, Kirk suspected something was up. He pushed, and the extent of Sheiler's deceit became clear.

50-year-old Mary Sheiler had been, all along, pretending to be hot, young, blond "Jessi," in an imposture nearly as detailed and embroidered as Montgomery's.

Sheiler had a reputation as a perfect mother. She faithfully attended all of her daughter Jessica's basketball and softball games, and she worked part-time at the girl's school, doing clerical work.

Sheiler says that when she joined Pogo she accidentally registered with her daughter's screen name and was directed to a teen room, a mistake she never got around to clearing up. But records show she'd initially used the name "TallHotBlondBig50". That didn't seem to tip Montgomery off, but she switched to "Peaches_06_17" just in case.

She now claims she wasn't seriously interested in either of the two men, that she's happily married. She maintains that she just didn't know how to get rid of Barrett, and that she thought it was safer to keep Montgomery interested in order to keep him from real 18-year-olds.

A pretty girl, the real Jessica had been named Miss Oak Leaf Festival 2002. Sheiler's daughter hadn't known that her mother was using her identity and photos to pass herself off as a young woman.

Now, with everything out in the open, prosecutors just needed to put together the case against Montgomery.

The Investigation

Around 6:30 a.m. on September 18, 2006, Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Weiss and Detective Charles Tirone stopped Montgomery outside his home as he left for his shift at Dynabrade. They handcuffed him, read him his Miranda rights, and told him he was not under arrest, but that they wanted to question him. He asked to stop at his car to grab some peaches he'd left in there, and then he let Weiss and Tirone take him to the sheriff's office on West Eagle Street in Buffalo.

Weiss later described Montgomery's behavior in the fourth-floor interview room as emotional and erratic. Tirone said Montgomery became maudlin and romantic when speaking about "Jessi." He didn't know the truth about her until investigators told him about Sheiler.

Montgomery told Weiss and Tirone that he'd been out to dinner the night of the murder and got home around 10:15 p.m.; his wife, when interviewed, said it was closer to 11:00 when he got in. His cell phone records put him at Dynabrade around the time of the murder, well after his own shift ended.

That September afternoon, Weiss and Tirone brought Montgomery home, but they exercised a search warrant with his and his wife's permission. When the investigators found a handbook for a .38-caliber gun, they asked if he had one. Montgomery told them he didn't, and that he only had the book because he'd long wanted that gun, which he said he couldn't afford. But then the investigators found photo in the house showing its gun cabinet holding a .38-caliber gun, now missing.

Then they brought him to the county garage, along with his car, which they searched. There, Tirone wondered aloud who would shoot a "kid" like Barrett. An irate Montgomery respoded vehemently to Tirone. He only got himself under control when Tirone reminded Montgomery that he was talking about the killer, not about him.

The Sheriff's Department interviewed Montgomery again on September 25. Montgomery's attorney, John Molloy would later point out that the time on Montgomery's signed waiver of his Miranda's rights was several hours after that interview began, claiming that this should make his statement inadmissable; prosecutors would counter that Montgomery had attended that interview voluntarily, and been advised of his Miranda rights already several times in the past.

Investigators searched all three people's computers, compiling thousands of pages of chats, including sexually explicit conversations with what both men thought was a 17-year-old—as well as Montgomery's threats against Barrett.

Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Gregory McCarthy and Undersheriff Richard Donovan arrested Montgomery on Monday, November 27, 2006. They brought him back to West Eagle Street. Donovan later testified that, just as the interview began, Montgomery asked him whether he could get the death penalty if he confessed.

At his arraignment a few days later, Montgomery pleaded not guilty to the charge of second degree murder.

Prosecuting and Pleas

The volume of material through which both attorneys had to sift delayed the case, but it looked to prosecutors like an easy one. Montgomery's best defense lay in his daughters' statements that he was out to dinner with them at the time of the murder. He claimed that Barrett was getting threatening calls at work from a host of enemies and that one of them must have done it. Molloy's only strategy beyond that was to hope he could establish that Montgomery made his statements without consent or that the investigators didn't have a proper warrant to search his computer.

To speed things along, in July 2007 prosecutors offered Montgomery a plea deal in which he'd get a 20 year minimum sentence if he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter—rather than the 15 to 25 years he'd get if he were tried and found guilty.

Erie County Assistant District Attorney Frank Sedita warned this was his last chance to take a plea. Montgomery refused.

But, in August 2007, Montgomery did in fact take the bargain and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Investigators say evidence against him changed his mind.

Montgomery had refused to provide a DNA sample during the investigation, but he accidentally gave cops one anyway. He requested something to drink during questioning. Detectives gave him some Mountain Dew. When Montgomery left the can behind, investigators were able to swab DNA from it. The DNA matched that on the peach pit that officers found at the scene of the crime.

They'd also found that the dog hair on that leather cartridge case at the scene seemed to match Montgomery's dog, Shadow, something they confirmed by eavesdropping on a call between Montgomery and his wife.

In October, on the day he was to be sentenced, though, a gaunt and scruffy Montgomery retracted his plea. He said that his attorneys had coerced him into the plea, and that he'd believed it was in the best interest of his daughters; he'd wanted to save his wife and kids from stress and embarrassment of a trial. Molloy conceded that he had advised Montgomery that his daughters could be called as witnesses, and that they would be under media scrutiny.

He'd once been a happy family man—the vice president of his daughters' swim club. Now his wife was divorcing him, and his daughters wrote him in jail to tell him that they never wanted to see him again. Montgomery tried to commit suicide after this news. He was placed under close observation at the Erie County Holding Facility.

Prosecutors had another theory about this retraction. The Barrett family had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Montgomery, the Dynabrade Corporation and Mary Sheiler. This may have influenced Montgomery to withdraw the guilty plea, as any statements he'd make in the criminal trial could be used in that lawsuit. Or, since Sheiler was to be the prosecution's key witness, perhaps Montgomery thought he'd fare better in his case now that the Barretts had alienated her by naming her as a defendant in their lawsuit.

At this turn of events, State Supreme Court Justice Penny Wolfgang replaced Molloy, appointing attorney John Nucherino to Montgomery's defense. She adjourned the case until November 27. She entered this in the court schedule as a sentencing, but said she'd consider the retraction then.

Sentencing

According to Nucherino, Montgomery said that Molloy had told him he could change his plea at any time. Prosecutor Frank Sedita, however, insisted Montgomery had understood the finality of the plea—after all, he had sworn at the hearing in which he made that plea that he understood what he was doing. Nucherino claimed further that Molloy hadn't been able to face telling Montgomery that he thought he didn't have much chance of winning his case, and that Molloy had worried that Montgomery's daughters' planned testimony (that they were with their father at the time of the murder) would be picked apart. Nucherino suggested that pushing Montgomery into a plea may have seemed easier to Molloy than gearing up for a losing case.

Sedita called Montgomery's claims in his attempt to reverse his plea manipulative—and he said Montgomery's emails to and chats with Sheiler displayed the same manipulative behavior. Sedita argued, too, that the nature of the chats changed once Montgomery's wife ratted him out. Sheiler and Barrett hurt Montgomery's feelings, Sedita argued, and Montgomery wanted to show them he could hurt them too. Sedita said transcripts showed Montgomery had "an obsessive desire to make Brian Barrett suffer."

Montgomery's brother, Gerald Montgomery, of Charlotte, N.C., insisted that his brother was innocent and that Mary Sheiler was "trying to kill two people, not just one," because a 20 or 25 year sentence would likely last the rest of Montgomery's life.

Judge Wolfgang didn't agree. She didn't permit Montgomery to retract his plea and she quickly sentenced him to 20 years in prison plus five years of post-release supervision.

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Normal Re: Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

Post by HippyChick2 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:43 am

WOW what a story!!!! Deception on the internet DOES come back to bite you in the ass, it seems. How sad that such a wonderful tool (internet) also brings out the worst in some people.
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Normal Re: Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

Post by raine1953 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:34 pm

This was on 20/20 last night. I've seen it before but it still blew my mind the same as the first time. Unbelievable.
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Normal Re: Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:32 pm

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Normal Re: Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:35 pm

I saw this on NG's website posted today's date and thought this was new..then remembered it and thought this Has to be the same story. So, I did a "search" and sure enough, we had a thread on it that I started. Go figure.


Last edited by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:36 pm

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Normal Fake Online Teen Romance Ends Up In Murder, Sentencing

Post by raine1953 on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:17 pm

November 29, 2007
A man from upstate New York has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing a co-worker in a fit of jealousy over a middle-aged woman in an online relationship who pretended to be 18.

Thomas Montgomery, 48, was sentenced earlier this week after he pleaded guilt to killing 22-year-old co-worker, Brian Barrett outside a Dynabrade tool factory where the two men worked.

The motive was an online relationship Montgomery established with a West Virginia woman, identified in court and by prosecutors as Mary Sheiler. Montgomery and Sheiler, who were miles apart and had never met, both came up with the same idea: to get online and pretend they were about 30 years younger than they actually are. They found each other on the Web and fell in love with each other's fake personas -- which were closer to their children's ages than their own.

Sheiler reportedly used pictures of her daughter to pretend she was 18 and flirted with Montgomery, who pretended he was a young U.S. Marine bound for Iraq. She mailed photos and lingerie to his home outside of Buffalo, and exchanged steamy messages online.

Montgomery's wife intercepted a package, according to local media reports, returned the favor with a note explaining that the tool factory worker was a married man in his late 40s, with two teenage daughters.

Sheiler, who had used the name "Jessica" online, knew the name of Barrett as one of Montgomery's co-workers at Dynabride and contacted him online to confirm the facts. She continued exchanging e-mail messages with Montgomery and Barrett at the same time. Both men apparently continued to believe the middle-aged woman was an 18-year-old.

Neither man ever met Sheiler, but Barrett ended up dead over the passions aroused by the older pair's deceit.

Barrett, a Buffalo State College student, was found dead from gunshot wounds inside his truck, which he had parked outside the tool factory.

Although Montgomery pleaded guilty, he later tried and failed to rescind the plea and is expected to appeal the case.

Erie County Assistant District Attorney Frank Sedita named old-fashioned jealousy the motive. But, this time, it definitely had a modern twist.

"You can pretend to be whoever you want to be on the Internet," he said in an interview Thursday. "And people will do and say strange things to represent who they are. I certainly don't do any Internet chatting."
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Normal Re: Online Love Triangle, Deception End in the murder of 22 yr old Brian Barrett. 46-year old Thomas Montgomery, a married father of two poses as an 18 yr old has been arrested for Barrett's murder/Montgomery sentenced to 20 years in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:36 pm

He should have gotten more than 20 but he'll probably die there anyway. Updated

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