Cold case: Montevallo man charged with 1986 murder

Published 10:25 am Friday, February 7, 2014

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A 57-year-old Montevallo man has been arrested by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and is awaiting extradition on charges related to a 1986 Clearwater, Fla., cold case murder.



The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office arrested Stephen Manning Lamont, whose address was listed in the 100 block of Glory Road in Montevallo, on a fugitive from justice charge on Feb. 5, according to court records. He is now facing one count of first-degree murder in Pinellas County Florida.

SCSO Sgt. Clay Hammac said the arrest came after investigators from the Clearwater Fla., Police Department reopened their investigation into the Nov. 3, 1986, death of Janet L. Staschak in an apartment on South Greenwood Avenue in Clearwater. Staschak was strangled and sexually assaulted when she died, according to a Clearwater Police Department press release.

Clearwater police investigators traveled to Alabama to talk with Lamont after reviewing DNA evidence taken from the 1986 crime scene utilizing “new technology that was not available decades ago,” according to the press release.

“DNA evidence taken from the scene was resubmitted and came back with a hit – that of Lamont, whose profile was in the system because he had served time in an Alabama prison for robbery,” read the press release. “Of the 13 million DNA profiles in the databank, the only hit belonged to Lamont.

“At first, he denied knowing the victim, then later said he knew her but didn’t know anything about her death. Lamont then talked of knowing the victim and dating her, then coming to her apartment and finding her dead,” read the press release. “He said he altered the scene and moved her body and even drove her car to Tampa International Airport. Eventually during the interview, he admitted to detectives that he killed her.”

Lamont was taken into custody after the interview at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Staschak’s death happened after Lamont allegedly escaped from the Holman Correctional Facility in Escambia County in 1986.

Hammac said the SCSO was “happy to assist the (Clearwater) investigators any way we could.”

As of Feb. 7, Lamont was being held in the Shelby County Jail without bond awaiting extradition to Florida.