After his stepson snuck out of bed to get a cookie, a Tampa, Florida man allegedly threw him against the wall and beat him before forcing the child’s siblings to also attack him. After the fatal beating, he then allegedly forced the boy's siblings to sleep next to his dead body for the rest of the night.
Jack Junior Montgomery, 31, of Tampa, was arraigned on Monday for allegedly killing Brice Russell, 7, WFLA reports. Russell and three of his siblings were staying in a hotel room with Montgomery on Friday when the incident occurred. Their mother was at work.
According to WFTS, an employee at the hotel overheard some of the violence. The employee told police he heard what sounded like an adult male screaming "beat the kid" and "push the kid over here.” That employee called police at around 1 a.m.
Police showed up at the hotel room, and Montgomery opened the door. He allegedly told police that the ruckus was merely him blasting music. He said his children were sleeping and he even allegedly opened the door so that police could see the children sleeping together in a shared bed. Seemingly satisfied with this, the responding deputy left. Hours later, Montgomery called 911 to say that his stepson wouldn’t wake up. Russell was already in a state of rigor mortis, meaning he was dead for some time when police arrived.
Russell’s siblings told police they watched Montgomery beat their brother. They said he allegedly threatened to beat them too if they did not help Montgomery beat Russell, WFTS reports. At least one child said he chimed in. Montgomery reportedly told police that he was trying to discipline the boy. It is unclear if he has a lawyer at this time.
“[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 stated in court on Monday, according to the New York Post.
The Medical Examiner's Office has determined that Russell died from homicidal violence.
Montgomery could face the death penalty if convicted.
[Photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]