Courts & Crime

Impostor who bamboozled high school played a game, on and off the court

ODESSA, Texas — There's really no nice way to say an entire town was hoodwinked.

The "impostor" story still rattles this quiet West Texas community where 22-year-old Guerdwich (pronounced GERD-itch) Montimere passed himself off as Jerry Joseph, a 16-year-old orphan from Haiti.

During his 13 months of deception, he became District 2-5A basketball "Newcomer of the Year" at Odessa Permian High School, attended church twice a week, pulled down solid grades in advanced classes and talked of plans to go to college.

Since booked on several crimes, he's now jailed at the Ector County Law Enforcement Center on a $50,000 bond. As of yet, he has no lawyer.

In a span of four days, May 11-14, Montimere was arrested three times, bonding out twice, charged with falsifying identification to police, tampering with legal/immigration documents and sexual assault of a 16-year-old Odessa girl when she was 15.

He now faces up to 20 years. To some, he's a con man; to others, a wolf among children.

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