Investigation continues in child abuse case against Brill - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Investigation continues in child abuse case against Brill

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A case continues to develop against a Great Falls woman accused of assault on a minor (solicitation). 

Attorneys have filed a motion and order for “leave to file information direct” in the case against Hope Brill. According to Montana Code Annotated, “An application must be by affidavit supported by evidence that the judge or chief justice may require. If it appears that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed by the defendant, the judge or chief justice shall grant leave to file the information, otherwise, the application is denied…When leave to file an information has been granted, a warrant or summons may issue for the defendant's arrest or appearance.”

On June 28th, 2017, Great Falls Police responded to a report of a male holding a two-year-old under the water in a bathtub. When officers arrived, they found a woman standing outside yelling at the male “I told you I’d call the cops.” The man was identified as Colton Spatz, Brill’s boyfriend. Brill then came outside and brought police into where two young children were, appearing to “downplay” what had just occurred, stating the neighbor who called them came in illegally, according to court documents.

Officers recognized injuries on the children, who were both visibly upset and crying. Court documents state on the way to the hospital, Brill was acting “unnatural” and she had “difficulty connecting to the children verbally or emotionally.”

Once at the hospital, the following injuries to the children were noted and combined list as follows:

  • Large contusion to the middle of the forehead
  • Medium contusion to the left side of forehead
  • Red linear marks to the left side of face
  • Red linear marks to the right side of face
  • Red linear bruising to buttocks (both sides)
  • A red mark on the back of the head
  • Red marks under the left eye
  • A red scratch to the right side of the forehead
  • A red mark on the left temple
  • Yellow bruising on the forehead
  • Bruising that ran the entire length of the back and sides of both thighs
  • Bruising near the genitals
  • Red marks at the top of each ear where it meets the skull

Court documents also state a nurse was concerned during the visit that the children had not been properly fed.

During interviews at the scene, the neighbor told police she had a key to the residence because she regularly sometimes watches the home, and was returning their dog, which had gotten out. She told police as she approached the house, she heard a baby “screaming bloody murder.” Upon arrival, she walked in on Spatz holding a child’s head under water.

Spatz told police he was washing the child because the child had defecated their pants. Back at the hospital, Brill told police that Spatz was in charge of disciplining the children. When told a witness saw Spatz holding the child’s head underwater, she replied “okay” and indicated that it was a form of discipline a friend told them they could use.

Court documents state Brill continued to defend Spatz when confronted with all the injuries to the children. Spatz later admitted to police he had “snapped” and at one point slapped one of the children

Spatz was then charged with assault on a minor. Brill was charged for assault on a minor solicitation. 

In the most recent filings, court documents state the complainant’s interview, along with the 911 call and the interview with the neighbor, Brill and Spatz had all been downloaded and placed into evidence, and follow up photographs of the children’s injuries were submitted into evidence.

The motion was filed solely in Brill's case. 

The investigation is ongoing.

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