back to top

This Mom Fought Off A Drunk Dad Who Beat Her For Not Letting Him Take The Kids In Her Care

Martha McClure was beaten with a shovel while trying to defend the kids in her care from the alleged assailant.

Posted on

Martha McClure has owned Martha's Menehunes in Ronan, Montana, for approximately two decades, her friend Krista Osterwyk-McKnight told BuzzFeed News.

Last week, McClure was watching the three children of a man named Francis Jackson.

Jackson's children, who are all under age 4, had been removed from his care and he was barred from seeing them, Deputy Lake County Attorney James Lapotka said in an affidavit. The kids are currently in the custody of Department of Tribal Social Services pending their adoption.

On Wednesday, Jackson allegedly arrived at the day care along with an unknown woman. According to authorities, McClure smelled alcohol on him and told him he needed to leave.

Jackson allegedly began yelling that McClure couldn't take his children, and became violent. When he began throwing objects at the window, authorities say McClure locked the kids inside and headed out armed with a snow shovel to defend herself and the children.

Lapotka alleges that after she came outside, Jackson and his unknown accomplice began attacking McClure. The woman allegedly hit McClure with the shovel and Jackson allegedly struck her in the face.

McClure suffered injuries to her eye socket, and had surgery to repair it on Monday, according to her friend Osterwyk-McKnight.

Osterwyk-McKnight added that the mother of four boys has double vision, and her injuries will take a long time to heal.

“It's really killing her not being at work," Osterwyk-McKnight said.

She said that when she heard what had happened, she wasn't surprised that her friend had stepped up to defend the children in her care.

“She treats every child like [they are] her own," Osterwyk-McKnight, adding that McClure is by nature a "very protective" and "caring" person.

"She has a huge heart," she said.

Jackson was arrested on Monday and is facing felony aggravated burglary and custodial interference charges, the Montana Standard reported. His female accomplice has not been arrested.


The name of the day care is Martha's Menehunes. A previous version of this article had an incorrect name.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.