Montana Child Killer Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
April 21, 2016 Updated: April 21, 2016

A man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for beating his girlfriend’s toddler to death, according to reports this week.

And a 911 call from Brandon Walter Lee Newberry, of Montana, said it all.

“It’s my fault, it’s my fault,” he screamed. He told police that he was “roughhousing” with his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son before toddler got sick and died days later.

Officials, however, painted a different picture. They said he beat the boy, Forrest Groshelle, tearing a hole in his intestines in February 2015, the Flathead Beacon reported.

Newberry was described as a young man who had major mental health problems after a poor start to his life. They said he could turn his life around if he got 10 years in prison and parole.

The toddler’s family members said his mental health issues aren’t an excuse, reported the Daily Interlake.

“You are a vicious monster,” Kayla Johnson, the aunt of the boy, told the courtroom. She said life imprisonment would be an appropriate punishment. “If it were up to me, you would get the death sentence because that is the sentence you gave to Forrest,” she added.

An autopsy showed the Forrest died from blunt-force trauma to his abdomen, which caused a laceration in the small intestine, as the Washington Post reported.

Forrest’s grandmother Cindy Juntunen also testified, telling Flathead District Judge Heidi Ulbricht that killing children isn’t OK.

“What you have taken from us is so devastating,” Juntunen said. “You took my daughter’s laughter, smile, sparkle, joy.”

“I just don’t understand why anyone would do this to such a precious child,” Juntunen said.

Newberry’s sentencing hearing was Tuesday.

“I am more than sorry for what happened,” he said in court, reported the Beacon. “And I want the family to know that this will be with me for the rest of my life.”

His aunt, Teresa Newberry, and a psychologist, Andrea Weisman said that he had depression and social anxiety.

“The combination of his depression, his social anxiety and his untreated attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder created a psychological tsunami,” Weisman said. “He could not form rational or intelligent decisions at the time of the incident.”

Newberry said her nephew turned to drugs and never broke free.

“Brandon’s upbringing was less than ideal,” she said. “Forrest is not the only one who was failed.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.