A Florida man has been accused of beating his stepson to death over a cookie, before forcing the boy’s siblings to sleep next to the boy’s dead body all night long.
Writers for the New York Post note that Jack Junior Montgomery of Tampa, Florida, was arraigned on murder charges Monday for the death of 7-year-old Brice Russell. According to the Post, young Brice was witnessed by Montgomery sneaking out of bed to obtain a cookie and was brutally attacked by the 31-year-old for the act.
Brice’s mother reportedly left her son in the care of Montgomery at the Seffner Masters Inn as she worked a double shift on the night of December 29. Upon witnessing the young boy out of bed, Montgomery reportedly flung him into a cabinet and began punching the child in the face and stomach with a closed fist.
“(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,” Assistant State Attorney Matthew Smith relayed in court.
The accused also allegedly ordered Brice’s siblings to join in on the beating by threatening bodily harm if they chose not to do so. Workers at the hotel reportedly overheard Montgomery screaming “push the kid over here” and “beat the kid” to the children.
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Workers at the Seffner Masters Inn called police, and officers performed a welfare check around 1 a.m. Montgomery would go on to explain that the loud noise came from him blasting music, and pointed out the sleeping children all huddled in a bed inside of the hotel room. Around 10 that same morning, Montgomery called law enforcement again to relay that Brice wasn’t waking up.
When emergency officials arrived, they discovered that the young Russell had been in a state of rigor mortis, meaning that he had been dead for some time, Oxygen explains.
Russell’s siblings relayed to officers that they witnessed the stepfather beating the child inside of the hotel room. They also claimed that he threatened to beat them if they didn’t assist with beating Russell. At least one of the boy’s brothers did as he was told.
WFLA notes that Montgomery has been charged in the past with several violent crimes. If found guilty, the stepfather could spend the rest of his life behind bars. The ages of Russell’s brothers have not been released to the media.