Parole Board hearings set for 2 convicted killers

Published 11:58 pm Saturday, May 23, 2009

Two people convicted in connection with separate killings of Highway Patrol officers are to face hearings before the state Patrol Board scheduled for June.

Charles Montgomery Jr. was convicted of firing the shot that killed state trooper Billy Langham on Dec. 31, 1981.

In the other case, Anita Krecic was convicted for her role in the 1987 shooting death of state trooper Bruce Ladner.

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The Mississippi State Troopers Association is opposing parole for either Montgomery or Krecic.

Krecic, who will turn 50 on Tuesday, is eligible for parole in August. She has had four prior parole hearings, the last in 2007, said Parole Board Chairman Shannon Warnock.

Ladner’s brother, Kirk Ladner of Gulfport, called Krecic a cold-hearted woman who helped her boyfriend shoot and kill the trooper in 1987. Krecic’s boyfriend, Tracy Alan Hansen, was executed in 2002. Krecic was given a life sentence.

Kirk Ladner said family members have been in contact with a Parole Board member to urge denial of her parole.

Hansen and Krecic were wanted for robbery in Florida when Ladner stopped them for speeding the night of April 10, 1987, on Interstate 10 west of Gulfport.

Hansen shot Ladner in the back and neck, then stole his gun and patrol car. Ladner died two days later. Hansen and Krecic were captured in Hancock County.

Kirk Ladner, citing trial testimony, said authorities believe Krecic retrieved the weapon from the car they were in and passed it to Hansen. A holster was found underneath the passenger seat where Krecic was sitting, he said.

In Langham’s death, the state trooper was making a routine traffic stop on U.S. 49 near Collins when he was stabbed and shot to death by four assailants.

Montgomery, 55, was convicted of firing the fatal shot and was sentenced to life behind bars.

Warnock said Montgomery also has had four previous hearings, the last in 2006.

Billy Langham’s widow, Brenda Langham, said Montgomery should remain in prison for the rest of his life.

“He took Billy’s life, and I think he ought to serve his lifetime,” Langham said. “We don’t need him on the street to kill someone else.”

One of the other men convicted in Langham’s death, Samuel Johnson, died in prison.

Another, Otis Lee Fairley, was released but committed another crime and was returned to prison. The other assailant, Anthony Fields, was released in 1989. He testified for the prosecution against Montgomery.