Castella child custody exchange leads to attempted murder charges

CASTELLA – Shasta County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man, Saturday, May 14, after the subject allegedly choked the mother of his child unconscious during a custody exchange of their 14-month-old child, according to a sheriff official.

The alleged suspect was identified as 40-year-old Shea Montgomery. Following an investigation into the incident, deputies arrested Shea for domestic violence, child abuse and attempted murder, Deputy J. Ruiz wrote in a press release about the incident.

Shascom emergency communications dispatchers received a frantic 911 call at about 4:35 p.m. The female caller – whose name has been kept confidential – told dispatchers she had been choked unconscious and had her life threatened by the biological father of their 14-month old child. The alleged incident occurred during a child custody exchange at a residence in Castella, located in northern Shasta County.

During the child exchange, Montgomery and the victim became engaged in a verbal altercation when Montgomery allegedly began strangling the female victim. While he was strangling the victim, Montgomery allegedly told her he was going to first kill her, then kill their child and then kill himself.

The victim attempted to break free from Montgomery’s grasp and fought with him, scratching him on his face and body. As the victim continued struggling in her attempt to get away from Montgomery, she eventually lost consciousness due to being strangled.

When the female regained consciousness she saw Montgomery walking away from the residence with their child.

Shasta County Sheriff’s Deputies rushed to the area to look for Montgomery and the child and to check on the safety and welfare of the victim who was strangled. Due to the nature and exigency of the call, the California Highway Patrol was also contacted and requested to respond to the area to assist in searching for Montgomery and the 14-month-old.

A CHP officer who had responded to the area to assist in the search for Montgomery and the child located both not far from where the violent incident occurred. The officer detained Montgomery without incident. The young child was found safe and unharmed, according to Ruiz.

Based on their investigation, deputies arrested Montgomery and transported him to the Shasta County Jail where he was to be booked for domestic violence, child abuse and attempted murder.

Anyone with information about this investigation and arrest is encouraged to contact Deputy J. Ruiz at (530) 245-6540. Callers can refer to incident file number 16-17151 and can remain anonymous.


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