Published August 23, 2006
LEXINGTON, Ky. – John Michael Montgomery has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors over his drunken driving arrest, his lawyers said.
Montgomery, who was arrested in February after he left a Lexington bar, entered an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him.
"He decided not to go through with this high-profile trial and go ahead and just resolve it," said Brent Caldwell, one of the country singer's attorneys. "He wanted to fight the charges, but he also wanted to do what was best for his family."
Montgomery, 41, will pay $663.50 in fines and court costs and was ordered to complete an alcohol education program. His driver's license will be reinstated when he completes the program, Caldwell said. The agreement was reached Tuesday.
Charges of having a concealed deadly weapon and having a prescription in an improper container were dropped as a part of the plea deal.
Montgomery's lawyers had asked that all the charges be dismissed after photos and comments related to the arrest appeared on the arresting police officer's MySpace.com Web site. Lexington officer Joshua Cromer remains on administrative leave, though police won't say if it's related to the Montgomery case.
Lexington police are conducting an internal investigation of the arrest.
"There were some questions about procedure that developed pretty early" after the arrest, said Maj. Mike Bosse, who works in internal affairs for the Lexington Police Division. Bosse said he couldn't elaborate because it was still an open investigation. The investigation was expected to take a few more weeks, he said.
Police stopped Montgomery after they said he was driving erratically, and found two guns in his Dodge pickup and prescription drugs with someone else's name on the bottle.
Montgomery, a Kentucky native, has a home in Nicholasville, south of Lexington. His hits include "I Love the Way You Love Me," "I Swear" and "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)."