A former Alabama police officer gunned down his estranged wife, who had a restraining order against him, authorities said Wednesday.
The body of Megan Louise Montgomery, 31, was found face down in a parking lot in Mountain Brook, Alabama, less than 10 miles east of Birmingham, at about 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, police said.
After Montgomery's family reported her missing, Birmingham police linked her to the body found in Mountain Book, officials said.
Her ex-husband, Jason Bragg McIntosh, 45, surrendered to Mountain Book police and has been charged with capital murder, officials said. The case could carry the death penalty because Montgomery had an order of protection against McIntosh, Mountain Brook police Chief Ted Cook told reporters on Wednesday.
Montgomery had been shot in the head and back, according to Cook.
She was an animal lover who devoted much of her time to volunteering for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, the group said.
"We are deeply saddened and shaken by the loss of one of our own, Megan Montgomery," according to a Humane Society statement.
"Her bright spirit, compassionate heart, and steadfast love for animals will be profoundly missed. She never met a stranger and was a true friend to everyone."
McIntosh was a Mountain Brook police officer from Nov. 24 1997 to Sept. 8, 1999, according to Cook.
He subsequently joined the Hoover Police Department before resigning on March 20 of this year, Cook and Hoover police both said.
McIntosh also faces a domestic violence charge from injuries Montgomery suffered in May, Hoover police said Thursday.
And that followed a Feb. 23 incident when McIntosh was placed on administrative leave over a "domestic situation involving a female suffering from a gunshot would to her arm," Hoover police said.
McIntosh was not prosecuted for a felony in that alleged shooting due to a "failure to cooperate by Ms. Montgomery," Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington said in a statement to NBC News on Thursday.
Even though McIntosh worked for the Mountain Brook Police Department, Cook said he and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office both believe there's no conflict of interest in his agency leading the investigation.
Montgomery was at a nearby bar, the Courtyard 280, late Saturday night or early Sunday morning when McIntosh came in, Cook said. Surveillance video shows McIntosh having "some type of exchange with" Montgomery and others at the table before she left with him.
"Ms. Montgomery can be seen interacting with him and then leaving — what appears to be voluntarily — with him," Cook said. "She’s not held; she's not forced."
McIntosh is being held without bail.
"First and foremost our deepest sympathies go out to the Montgomery family for their unbearable loss," McIntosh's defense attorney Tommy Spina said in a statement on Thursday.
Spina claimed that his client is being overcharged, and both the suspect and victim had been in contact despite their divorce.
“We do believe the case to be inappropriately overcharged as a capital case," he said. "The restraining order made the basis of the capital charge was entered into by agreement of both parties in the divorce court, was reciprocal, and required each party to stay away from each other. Regretfully they continued to see and live with each other off and on regularly, as is often the case in relationships of this nature, up until this tragic conclusion."
Montgomery's funeral is scheduled for Friday, according to NBC affiliate WVTM.