Ex-police officer Jason McIntosh pleads guilty to Megan Montgomery's Mountain Brook murder

By Carol Robinson | crobinson@al.com

A former police officer has pleaded guilty plea in the slaying of his 31-year-old estranged wife whose body was found in the parking lot of a Mountain Brook Athletic complex more than a year ago.

Jason Bragg McIntosh, 46, was initially charged with capital murder in the Dec. 1, 2019 shooting death of Megan Louise Montgomery.

McIntosh today pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of murder. Under the plea agreement accepted by Circuit Judge Shanta Craig Owens, McIntosh was sentenced to 30 years in prison. According to parole board rules and regulations, a person convicted of murder and a number of other enumerated Class A offenses is eligible for parole consideration after serving 85 percent or 15 years of their sentence, whichever is less. If parole is denied, the offender is eligible for parole consideration every five years after that. McIntosh will be given credit for time served.

McIntosh was a Hoover police officer up until nine months before Montgomery's death. He resigned from the Hoover force in March 2019 following a domestic dispute that left Montgomery with a gunshot wound to the arm.

He previously worked at the Birmingham Police Department and then the Mountain Brook Police Department, where he worked from 1997 through 1999 before joining Hoover's force.

At the time of his arrest, McIntosh told booking officers he worked for Waitr. He is the son of a now-retired police chief.

McIntosh declined to say anything prior to sentencing and showed little emotion until after the proceedings were over when he cried and hugged his family, including his daughter.

Montgomery's family, however, on Wednesday spoke for more than 20 minutes, collectively, on the impact of her death on family and friends.

"No evil could ever penetrate our God-fearing family, that's what we thought," said Montgomery's mother, Susann Montgomery-Clark. "Since Megan's brutal murder, I've been anxious, suspicious and angry."

"Megan began dying on July 23, 2017, on their first date. Like a frog in a pot of boiling water, you gradually turn up the heat to boiling and the frog doesn't know they're dying. That's what happened to Megan," Montgomery-Clark said. "That's what domestic violence does. Anyone who met her after their first date didn't know the real Megan that he destroyed long before he killed her."

"She may have had street smarts, what she did not have was back alley smarts," her tearful mother said. "She was not raised around violent people. She had no experience to draw on."

Montgomery-Clark talked about domestic violence, and how victims across the world reached out following her daughter's slaying.

She lashed out at those who say domestic violence is "gender neutral."

"That vitriol puts a nail in the coffin of an abused woman by revictimizing her and a dagger in the hearts of her family," she said. "Megan had written in a gratitude journal after she was shot the first time...'I hope I find a man in the future who won't make me do things I don't want to do.'"

"Over and over she wrote, 'I am strong,' so may times so she could convince her traumatized self that she would be strong enough to leave him," Montgomery-Clark said.

Montgomery's stepfather, Rod Clark, talked of her love of family and their love for her.

He said he agonizes every day on what they could have done to prevent her death. Her sister, Meredith Montgomery Price, said the family is forever broken. "She was brainwashed and manipulated and abused and now she is dead," her sister said.

Montgomery's father, Johnny Ironman Montgomery, told the courtroom how he thought Jan. 10, 1977, was the worst day of his life because that's when his mother was murdered, coincidentally also shot three times just like his daughter.

"Now Dec. 1, 2019 is my worst day of my life. Jason took my beautiful daughter's life. A father should never have to bury his child," he said. "I have traveled this road before. I was filled with anger, bitterness, resentment, hate. I was able to forgive the man who murdered my mama before he was executed."

"Jesus commands me to forgive and I am working on forgiving Jason," he said. "I can forgive the person but no the crime. I will eventually forgive Jason because I will not allow anger or bitterness or resentment to control my life."

McIntosh was represented by attorneys Tommy Spina and Ben Preston. Jefferson County deputy district attorneys Ashley Mims Patterson and Joe Hicks prosecuted the case.

"Jason has admitted his guilt publicly and has acknowledged his actions resulting in the death of Megan, as he has since day one privately," Spina said today. "He deeply regrets what he did and the pain he has inflicted onto so many people. He has accepted his punishment for those actions."

Spina's statement continued:

"Today is the conclusion of this case, but the emotional damage to others left in the wake of this exceptionally flawed relationship will last forever."

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