126 years in prison for woman who murdered 8-year-old

MARION, Ark. – A woman was sentenced to 126 years in prison for the fatal shooting of an 8-year old this week.

Michael Snell – Managing Deputy Prosecuting Attorney – and Sonia E. Fonticiella – Prosecuting Attorney for the 2nd Judicial District, prosecuted 25-year-old Shanteria Nicole Montgomery. A Crittenden County Circuit Court jury took less than an hour and a half to convict Montgomery of first–degree murder in the April 10, 2022, fatal shooting of 8-year old Ja’Maiyah Hall.

The jury convicted Montgomery of first degree murder, terroristic act, and tampering with physical evidence. Circuit Judge Randy Philhours followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Montgomery to 126 years’ imprisonment.

On April 10, 2022, Montgomery fired a weapon at a car occupied by minors, near Sherwood Cove in Marion, Arkansas. The bullet hit the car and ricocheted off the side and struck Ja’Mayiah Hall in the head. She was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis where she later died.

Police said several children were playing with splatter-ball toy guns, and were shooting at each other. Montgomery escalated the game into real gunfire, officers said.

Prosecuting Attorney Sonia Fonticiella: “The hard work of the Crittenden County Prosecuting Attorney’s office and the Marion Police Department were instrumental in getting this conviction. I want to highlight the hard work of Managing Deputy Michael Snell and Investigator Lauryn Dixon and the rest of the team. Their dedication to protecting Crittenden County from people like Montgomery is second to none. We are also grateful to Chief Hinkle and his entire department for their hard work investigating this case.”

“I am very grateful to the jury who sat through heart breaking testimony for four days,” Fonticiella said in the release. “The jury’s message is clear – Crittenden County citizens are tired of the violence and demand safe neighborhoods for their children.”

“Little Ja’Mayiah Hall was an innocent victim, and we hope this conviction brings some peace to her family,” Fonticiella said.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michael Snell added, “Now you can go quietly into that good night. Rest well in the arms of Jesus sweet precious Ja’Mayiah.”

The Prosecuting Attorney’s office thanks the Marion Police Department, the West Memphis Police Department and the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in securing the courthouse and keeping everyone safe during the trial.

Adapted from Press Release

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