A Florida man is facing murder charges for allegedly killing his 6-year-old stepson by throwing him against a wall–then forcing the boy’s young brothers to sleep in bed with his body.
Jack Junior Montgomery, 31, is accused of killing Brice Russell, 6, this weekend at the Masters Inn in Seffner. WFLA reported Montgomery was left in charge of Brice and his three siblings while their mother, Donya Shenita Russell, 28, worked a double shift.
Montogomery reportedly called police at 10:50 a.m. Saturday to report that he found his stepson unresponsive inside their room. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue who arrived at the scene noted that Brice was lying in the bed, was cold to the touch, and that rigor mortis had set in. Crews pronounced him dead at 10:59 a.m., according to WFTS.
WFTS wrote that police now believe that the child was beaten to death for sneaking out of bed to get a cookie. The siblings reportedly told investigators that Montgomery threatened to harm them if they didn’t participate in punching Brice. One child allegedly struck him out of fear, WFLA also reported.
“While she was out working he 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 revealed in court.
The children claimed they witnessed their stepfather grab Brice by the leg and hurl him into a shelf that was attached to a wall. They also allegedly witnessed Brice lying on the floor with blood coming out of his nose and mouth and said that he never woke up after that.
“[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, adding that the alleged act killed the child within seconds or minutes.
The prosecutor went on to accuse Montgomery of putting the slain child in bed and forcing his three young siblings to sleep with his body the entire night.
Detectives uncovered that the stepfather had punched Brice in the face, mouth, and stomach with a closed fist in addition to throwing him around the hotel room and shoving his face into the carpet. The Medical Examiner’s Office ultimately determined that the 6-year-old died from homicidal violence, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Alarmingly, a hotel employee called police at 1:00 a.m. Saturday after allegedly hearing Montgomery yell at a child to “beat the kid” and “push the kid over here.” Police arrived at the hotel and spoke with a man who identified himself as “Jack” and claimed that the noise was him loudly playing his music. He then supposedly opened the door enough for the deputy to see the children sleeping in bed.
An arrest report obtained by WFTS stated that the deputy didn’t enter the room and ultimately cleared the call without further inquiry.
The 31-year-old was arrested on Sunday and charged with aggravated child abuse and felony first-degree murder. He was booked into the Orient Road Jail, where he’s being held on $87,000 bond.
[Featured Image: Jack Junior Montgomery/Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]