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      Man accused in 1996 murder cold case pleads not guilty

      Jason Ryan, the second man accused in the murder and sexual assault of an elderly Kalkaska woman, has pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

      Jason Ryan, the second man accused in the murder and sexual assault of an elderly Kalkaska woman, has pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

      Ryan filed a waiver on March 21 to enter his plea of not guilty to the charges of open murder, homicide felony murder, and first degree criminal sexual conduct in the murder of 69-year-old Geraldine Montgomery.

      Montgomery was found dead in the trunk of her car at her home on Oct. 6, 1996.

      The doctor who performed the autopsy said she died of carbon monoxide toxicity. He also said he found scrapes and bruising on her body and evidence consistent with sexual assault.

      Jamie Peterson, who was convicted of the murder in 1998, admitted to the crime and police say he had information that only someone at the scene should know. He is serving a life sentence at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee.

      Police said evidence at the time of Peterson's trial indicted that there were multiple subjects involved in the crime. Detectives say the use of new technology led to obtaining a DNA profile that identified Ryan.