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Man who put dismembered wife in cooler demands new judge at sentencing

Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 20:48:40-04

OLATHE, Kan. — The man found guilty of multiple counts of child endangerment and sexual exploitation of a child in late January in Johnson County, Kansas, is requesting a new judge before sentencing.

Justin Rey was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday when he appeared in a 10th Judicial District courtroom. Instead, he demanded a new judge and attorney before Judge Brenda Cameron could announce his sentence.

Rey told Cameron the court proceedings are “illegal” and that she is dishonorable.

“Although we were all hoping to get through this today, it’s just going to have to come another day and that's fine,” said Rey’s attorney, Scott Toth, who listened quietly as Rey berated him in court.

Assuming Rey formally files an affidavit requesting the change of judge by Friday, Cameron can’t rule on any motions in the case until Chief Judge Thomas K. Ryan weighs on on the motion.

“He certainly has the right to ask, and very clearly Mr. Rey feels like he was treated unfairly by all parties involved," Toth said. "And he certainly has the right to feel that way. The system is designed to address those types of concerns."

Rey and his two children were found Oct. 24, 2017, in a U-Haul storage unit in Lenexa. His wife’s dismembered body was found in two coolers in the storage unit.

Rey maintains that Jessica Monteiro Rey died during childbirth at a Kansas City, Missouri, motel, where he subsequently took pictures of her corpse with the children then chopped up her body before carting it to Lenexa.

A jury convicted Rey of two counts of endangering a child under 18 years old, two counts of contributing to a child's misconduct, and three counts of sexual exploitation of child/possess of child pornography on Jan. 30 after a three-day trial. The pornography charges stem from photos found after authorities searched his phone.

“This whole process has been prolonged," Jessica’s younger sister, Sarah Monteiro, said. "He'll pull his rants, stunts or his motions. It blows my mind what's being allowed here."

Monteiro says the family will never get the justice they truly want.

“I know he gets his rights, but he sort of forfeited those I feel with what he did, so he shouldn't be given any leniency,” Monteiro said.

The Reys’ children have been in foster care with an emergency medical technician who responded to the scene in Lenexa.

A hearing to determine whether to terminate Rey’s parental rights is on hold pending sentencing.

The next motion hearing in Rey's case will be at 9 a.m. April 8. Until then, sentencing will be delayed.

Rey has filed several prior motions alleging ineffective counsel, requesting a retrial, a change of venue, or seeking to have the case dismissed. All have been rejected.