Jack Junior Montgomery a 31 year old Tampa, Florida man has been accused of beating his stepson to death after ‘sneaking out’ of bed to get a cookie and then forced the boy’s brothers to sleep next to his body overnight.
Brice’s mother, Donya Shenita Russell, had left him in Montgomery’s care — along with three of his siblings — while she worked a double shift on Friday night. The family was reportedly staying at a local hotel.
‘While she was out working (Montgomery) chose to not only physically discipline this child himself, by not only repeatedly punching and throwing him on the ground — but threatening bodily harm upon the two brothers if they did not partake and equally discipline him,’ Assistant State Attorney Matthew Smith charged in court.
According to his arrest affidavit, Montgomery told investigators that he had been trying to discipline Brice after he got up out of bed to eat a cookie.
‘(Montgomery) picked him up and flung him as described by the other brothers, helicopter across the hotel room into what’s kind of a cabinet, where he hit head first. And ultimately caused his brain to bleed,’ Smith said, noting how this caused the little boy to die within seconds or minutes.
Adding, ‘As if that was not aggravated enough, Mr. Montgomery took the child, put him in bed and had his siblings sleep with him while Brice was dead that entire night.’
The children told detectives they saw blood coming from their seven year old brother’s nose and mouth. They said their brother never woke up after the attack.
Authorities say Montgomery killed his stepson sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning at the Masters Inn, located at 6010 State Road 579.
Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies had been called to the family’s hotel room at around 1 a.m. Saturday to conduct a welfare check after receiving reports of loud noises, but they never saw or found anything suspicious that would warrant a search, WFTS reports.
Montgomery would later call 911, at around 10:50 a.m. to report that his stepson was unable to wake up and was not breathing. The boy was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene.
Brice’s brothers told detectives that Montgomery punched the child repeatedly in the face, mouth and stomach with a closed fist before hurling him into the wall. They said that he threatened to do the same to them if they didn’t participate in the beatdown.
One of the other children, fearing Montgomery, did hit Brice.
Finally, the children said Montgomery picked up Brice by his leg and threw him against a shelf along the wall. They said Brice was bleeding from the nose and mouth and did not awake after that.
At some point the siblings told, their stepfather tried splashing water on the beaten child, only for the boy to never regain consciousness.
‘Push the kid over here,’ a hotel employee reported hearing, according to the arrest affidavit.
‘Beat the kid!’
Cops have not released the ages of the other boys.
WFLA reports that Montgomery has a history of domestic violence and battery.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the mother given the knowledge of Montgomery’s past chose to allow her sons be in the charge of her sons. It was also not clear if the mother had sought other amenities or whether she had been offered local community or government assistance.
Montgomery is currently being held at the Orient Road Jail on a $870,000 bond.
If convicted the Tampa step-father could face the death penalty.