Men Charged In 10-Year-Old Slayings Of 2 Local Women

CLEVELAND (AP) - A convict's comments helped result in charges against him and another man in the murders nearly 10 years ago of two elderly sisters who shared a home.

Terry Ferrell and Timothy Montgomery could face the death penalty if convicted of the killings. The men pleaded innocent at their arraignments Monday and are being held in Cuyahoga County Jail without bond.

Ferrell, 30, of Cleveland, told others that he took part in the deaths of his neighbors, authorities told The Plain Dealer.

The women, Mary Mosberger, 83, and Loretta Fallat, 73, were found Dec. 20, 1992, on the dining room floor of their Cleveland house. They were each stabbed about 20 times, and their throats were slashed. The knives were still in their bodies, and their clothes had been ripped off.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason credited the Cleveland Police Department's Homicide Unit with sticking with the case.

Montgomery's car was seen outside the victims' house at the time of the stabbings, Mason said. Montgomery, 40, of Lorain, claims he was somewhere else when the women were killed.

"This poor guy happens to be in that holding cell and he absolutely insists he didn't do it," Montgomery's attorney, G. Timothy Marshall, said Monday.

Montgomery will fight the charges by proving his alibi and that he is a victim of misidentification, Marshall said.

Police questioned Ferrell days after the killings and Montgomery in 1995 but released them without charges. A grand jury charged them Thursday in a secret indictment with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and aggravated burglary.

Ferrell has been indicted four times in other crimes in Cuyahoga County since the killings. He has been in prison for drug possession, breaking and entering, receiving stolen property and aggravated vehicular assault, according to state records. He also has been convicted of assault, vandalism and attempted escape.

Lawyers John Hildebrand and William McGinty were appointed to represent Ferrell. Common Pleas Judge Anthony Calabrese Jr., who will preside over the case, scheduled a hearing for Friday.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)