A United States man faces the death penalty if found guilty of murdering his 7-year-old stepson Brice Russell.

31-year-old Jack Montgomery was charged with murder after he allegedly beat Brice with a closed fist and threw his body "like a helicopter" into a cabinet.

Brice died from bleeding on the brain, despite Montgomery's attempts to "wake him up" by splashing water on his face. Brice's mother was at work at the time.

The beating started as a punishment after Brice snuck out of bed to get a biscuit. Brice's brothers witnessed the ordeal and told investigators they saw Montgomery beat Brice in the head and stomach.

To make matters worse, Montgomery then placed Brice's lifeless body in bed and forced the brothers to sleep next to the corpse. The family lived at a Masters Inn motel in Seffner, Florida.

Prosecutor Matthew Smith told the court that Brice likely died within minutes or seconds of being thrown into the cabinet. "While [Brice's mother] was out working, he chose not only to physically discipline this child himself, repeatedly punching and throwing him on the ground, but threatening bodily harm upon the two brothers if they did not partake and equally discipline him," Smith said.

"He picked him up and flung him, as described by the other brothers, as a helicopter across the hotel room into what's kind of a cabinet where he hit head first. Ultimately, it caused his brain to bleed. If that was not aggravating enough, Mr Montgomery took the child, put him in bed and had his siblings sleep with him while Brice was dead the entire night."

Montgomery has a history of violence and battery offences.