Two men arrested in student’s death

by Life Editor Tyler Hargett

The arrest of two men followed the death of sophomore Jalayah Hackman, who was shot in the neck during a fight between the two around midnight July 22.

The men were identified as Antonio Rossell Montgomery, 21, of Jasper, and Keiel Natwand James, 22, of Quinton.

Walker County Sherriff Jim Underwood said there was a third person at the scene who also fired shots and is currently a “person of interest” to the case.

The fight, which resulted in gunfire, occurred at a street party on Church Street in the Quinton community. At approximately 12:22 a.m., a call was made to the Walker County Sherriff’s Office concerning the incident.

Montgomery and James are both currently being held at the Walker County Jail, with Montgomery being charged with assault first degree and James with attempted murder. However, these charges could be upgraded because of Hackman’s death.

Underwood said Hackman was trying to break up the argument when she was struck in the neck by a bullet.

“She was trying to help resolve a matter that she realized could get out of hand,” Underwood said.

Hackman was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital before being transported to UAB, where she later died from her injuries.

“She had so much ahead of her, but I’m sure God had other great plans for her,” Faishon Parker, Hackman’s cousin, said in a Facebook post.

Brittney Black, another of Hackman’s cousin, created the Facebook group #LongLiveLayLay in honor of Hackman.

Black said “Lay Lay” comes from a nickname their grandmother had for Hackman.

Black posted on Facebook that a candle light will be held for Hackman at 7pm July 27 at Yerkwood Park.