A man charged with raping, strangling and killing a metro Atlanta LGBT activist was in court on Monday, pleading not guilty to the home invasion and homicide last April.
An attorney for Donte Lamar Wyatt, 33, entered a not guilty plea during a brief court appearance on Monday. He appeared before Superior Court Judge Asha Jackson with his hands and feet shackled and wearing an orange jail jump suit.
Wyatt faces 12 charges related to the April 13 killing of Catherine Han Montoya, including malice murder, felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy, rape, home invasion, burglary, false imprisonment, theft by taking and criminal trespass. His trial is scheduled to start Aug. 1 and could last up to two weeks.
The arraignment on Monday shed a few new details on the brutal murder of Han Montoya in her East Atlanta home on April 13. Police had said that Wyatt killed Han Montoya during an hours-long crime spree that covered two counties. It started in a Waffle House parking lot in Henry County where Wyatt confronted his ex-wife and allegedly repeatedly stabbed her.
Wyatt fled and somehow ended up in Han Montoya's East Atlanta home, police said. That’s where he attacked and strangled her, leaving her partially clothed body in a pool of blood, police said. What police hadn’t said in earlier reports about the killing is that Wyatt also allegedly raped Han Montoya before killing her. That was reflected in the additional charges Wyatt faced in court on Monday.
Wyatt is also charged with attacking his cellmate in the DeKalb County Jail after he was arrested. He allegedly strangled Jah'Corey Tyson on July 4 and removed his eyeballs. He pleaded not guilty to charges related to the jailhouse murder in September.
Friends and former co-workers have praised Han Montoya as “a vibrant champion for social justice.”
Han Montoya worked as a senior field manager for the Leadership on Civil & Human Rights and the leadership Conference Education Fund from 2008-2012. She described herself as a “Queer Chicana Korean Feminist (and Broncos fan).”
Han Montoya's funeral was held April 19. A You Caring fundraising campaign received $62,373 in donations in the wake of her death to help with family expenses.