It’s every mother’s worst nightmare. Donya Shenita Russell, 28, went to work one evening and returned home to a life changed forever.
Russell left for work with her children in the care of their stepfather, believing them to be in safe hands. Unfortunately, that was simply not the case.
Little Brice Russell, just 6 years old, woke up after falling asleep in the hotel room he and his family were sharing. Hungry, he went to get a cookie.
Jack Junior Montgomery, 31, decided to punish the child for getting out of bed. He repeatedly struck and threw the child around the room.
Brice’s three siblings were awakened by the sounds of their brother crying. Montgomery even told them to join in punishing the child, threatening them with similar violence if they refused.
A hotel employee heard the distressing sounds coming from the room and quickly alerted the authorities. Unfortunately, although a deputy was dispatched to check on the matter, he could determine nothing wrong at the time.
According to FOX59, Montgomery “told the deputy 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.” Seeing no reason to continue further, the deputy left.
Authorities were again dispatched to the hotel room the next morning. Montgomery called 911 when Brice would not wake up.
Little Brice had passed away and was pronounced dead at 10:59 a.m. However, he likely had died hours earlier.
According to FOX59, “the children saw their stepfather pick Brice up by the leg and throw him against a shelf along the wall.
The children told detectives they saw blood coming from his nose and mouth and that their brother never woke up after that.”
The Medical Examiner ruled that Brice had died as a result of homicidal violence. According to FOX59, “detectives determined that Montgomery had punched the child in the face, mouth and stomach with a closed fist, threw the victim around the hotel room and shoved his face into the carpet.”
Montgomery was arrested and has charged with aggravated child abuse and felony first-degree murder.
Whatever justice will be meted out will likely be far too little for Brice and his siblings, who must live with the memory of his horrifying tragedy for the rest of their lives.
The only positive in this story is that the murderer has been caught and will be paying for his crimes. He won’t be able to hurt anyone anymore.
In the meantime, let’s keep an eye out for potential victims of child abuse and make sure to keep this grieving family in our prayers.
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