Detectives wrote that Montgomery said the boy hit his head on the bed's headboard, but appeared all right before going back to sleep.
A sheriff's department affidavit said that deputies had been called to the hotel earlier in the morning on Saturday after a guest in another room reported what sounded like Mr. Montgomery yelling "beat the kid" and "push the kid over here". He was pronounced dead at 10:59 a.m. Now, he is staring at a possible death penalty, charged with the murder of a little boy.
Montgomery is now facing charges of aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder in the death of his stepson, 7-year-old Brice Russell. While alone with the children, Montgomery repeatedly punched and kicked the 7-year-old after he got out of bed to get a cookie, Assistant State Attorney Matthew Smith told the court.
Jack told the officer that he was in the room with "his children" and pushed the door open enough for the deputy to see the children sleeping in a bed towards the back of the room.
Montgomery's arrest report states that young Brice was cold to the touch with rigor mortis present. When medical services arrived, the child had already been dead for hours.
Detectives say that the siblings reported being threatened by their stepfather with the same violence if they did not join him in beating their brother.
The killing blow reportedly occurred when Montgomery allegedly lifted Brice up by his leg and forcefully threw him against a shelf. "And ultimately caused his brain to bleed", Smith said.
Montgomery went on to place Russell in bed with his brothers, forcing them to sleep with the body the rest of the night. Smith estimated the child had died within minutes after suffering his head injury.
Montgomery told HCSO he had thrown Brice onto the bed after he caught him sneaking out from under the covers to fetch a cookie. Police also wrote that he acknowledged telling the other children to hit the boy, but said it was "only in fun" and not meant to inflict harm.
The child's mother, Donya Shenita Russell, left the boy and her other three sons with Montgomery to work a double shift. The family had been living at the motel. It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Montgomery, who was being held on $870,000 bond, had a lawyer.