Police: Boy beaten to death over a cookie, stepfather charged

Jack Junior Montgomery is accused of beating his stepson to death because the boy tried to sneak out of bed to get a cookie. (Hillsborough County Court via CNN Newsource)

SEFFNER, Fla. (WPEC) - A man in central Florida is accused of killing a young boy over a cookie.

Jack Junior Montgomery, 31, is facing a charge of first-degree murder with aggravated child abuse. It happened Saturday morning at the Masters Inn in Seffner, where the boy lived with his mother and other children.

According to CNN affiliate WLFA, Montgomery told investigators he had disciplined his 7-year-old stepson because the boy tried to sneak out of bed to get a cookie in their hotel room.

The sheriff's office report said Montgomery punched Brice Russell in the face, mouth and stomach with a closed fist, threw him around the hotel room and shoved his face into the carpet. There were three other children in the room. Their mother had left Montgomery in charge of them all while she was at work, authorities said. Some of the children told detectives they woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of Brice crying and being hit and thrown around the hotel room.

Investigators said Montgomery threatened the other children with similar violence if they didn't hit Brice. At least one child did, the sheriff's office said. The children said they saw blood coming from Brice's mouth and nose after Montgomery threw him against the wall, and that he never woke up after that.

The sheriff's office said Montgomery called 911 to say his stepson would not wake up and was not breathing. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue pronounced Brice dead just before 11 a.m.

The medical examiner ruled Brice's death a result of homicidal violence.

Montgomery is being held on an $870,000 bond.

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