Mark Montgomery sentenced to life for Lauderdale County murders

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FLORENCE, Ala. - Prosecutors described it as one of the most awful murders they have ever worked. Two years later, the man who has taken responsibility for the shooting deaths of two women has been sentenced.

Standing before Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Mike Jones, Mark Montgomery was told when his lights begin to dim in this life, he will remain behind prison bars.

Originally indicted on two counts of capital murder and aggravated animal cruelty, in May - Montgomery entered a guilty plea to one count of capital murder.

“For him to plead guilty and accept the life without parole sentence brings a great deal of finality to this situation for both the families,” explained Chris Connolly, the Lauderdale County District Attorney.

In March of 2014, Clo Stoner and Joanna Strickland were shot multiple times in the head.

As he was escorted from the courtroom Thursday, Mark Montgomery gave this explanation of that day, “I was taking a lot of drugs and drinking a lot, just, I really don’t remember.”

Montgomery said prior to the shooting, he had been in a car wreck which crushed his skull. Couple that with drugs and alcohol and he said he wasn’t thinking straight.

Before being placed on the transport elevator, Montgomery offered this apology.

“I am sorry for what I did,” stated Montgomery. “If I would have been in my right mind I wouldn’t have done it.”

He will have the rest of his life to think about the shooting. Montgomery was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Also, he will not have the opportunity to appeal the sentencing, since it was part of the plea agreement.