Lermont Stowers-Jones, or “Mont” as known to his friends and family was a Senior at Denton High School (Texas) when he was reported dead just before Thanksgiving in 2018. On Nov. 20, 2018, Mont’s body was discovered by a search and rescue dive team in the waters of Hickory creek after it was reported the day before that he “jumped” from Goat Man's Bridge, a site notoriously synonymous with racial violence in our Denton community. This is significant because Mont reported weeks of racial harassment at school leading up to his death. Though county investigators never considered input from Mont's family before making their determination, which was based entirely on statements from individuals who initially fled the scene, his death was determined accidental.An independent review of Mont's autopsy, however, provides substantial evidence that his death was in fact not accidental.
As a result of the county's refusal to acknowledge Mont as a victim of a violent crime, his family was denied access to victim funds that should have been available to support his surviving siblings and parents through bereavement counseling as well as to help with his memorial expenses. The financial burden placed on the family during independent investigation has been exponential and though initial GoFundMe campaings helped them bury and memoriaize Mont, they still do not know who killed their son.
Can you imagine finding out that your son's death was the result of a racially motivated murdered?
Can you imagine then finding out that instead of conducting a thorough investigation, local authorities covered up evidence and conspired so as to avoid news reports of a racially motivated murder in the community?
To this day, local authorities have still not returned his clothing or cell phone to his parents. Though local authorities have closed the case, they have still yet to provide a sufficient explanation of his death and are still witholding public records related to their supposed investation from the family.
WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?
Lermont and his family deserve justice. They deserve a legitimate investigation and they deserve to see the authorities who failed them held accountable. Contribute to their cause and help them obtain the legal representation they so desperately need and deserve.
This Dentonite article is the only news coverage that actually included genuine input from Mont's family.
- Claire Miles
- Victoria Holcomb
- Jose Rodriguez
- Marie Morris