Longview parents held responsible for baby's burns

By LaKecia Shockley

LONGVIEW, TX (EAST TEXAS NEWS)- 21 year old Nichole Montana will face a charge of injury to a child with criminal negligence. The baby's father, 22 year old John D. Montana, is charged with injury to a child.

Authorities say he placed the baby girl into 140 degree water earlier this month, causing third degree burns.

Authorities tell us the baby is fighting to survive and recover from several severe burns at the Parkland Dallas Burn Unit Hospital.

The incident happened earlier this month at the Pinehurst Apartments in Longview. Authorities say it was inside the Montanas' bathroom in their apartment where the baby was allegedly burned on her arms, legs, and back.

Longview police tell us after the incident the child's mother didn't seek help.

"The mother was arrested for failing to have her child treated for the child's medical injuries at the hospital. Texas law requires that if a child sustains injuries and their in your care, custody or control that you're required by law to give the child treatment. The mother didn't attain treatment for the child and she was arrested for it," said Kevin Brownlee with the Longview Police Department.

The affadavit also shows conflicting stories from the Montanas. The father says one thing happened, the mother another. Authorities say the baby was burned at the Pinehurst apartments in Longview. The affidavit says Nichole Montana told police the child was with a babysitter when the injuries occurred.

But in the same affidavit, the father says he was in the den watching TV, while the baby and her three year old brother were in left in a bathtub alone. The father also blames the three year old for turning on the hot water.

Today, we talked to the Montanas' neighbor and he describes the parent's care in one word.

"Basically neglect...I've heard screaming, yelling. They've been unsupervised several times. I've heard the parents argue. In fact, the day of this incident, I thought it was something else because of him kicking on the door...He was kicking on the door and kicked the door in," said Brandon Davis.

The three year old boy is now in child protective custody.

If convicted, the father could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

The baby is recovering, but still in the burn unit. The affadavit says the baby was held by her feet and the back of her neck and put in the hot water. She suffered burns on her legs, torso, and stomach.