Adam Montgomery is accused of beating to death his 5-year-old daughter and keeping her body for months before disposing of it
Harmony Montgomery was reported missing by her biological mother Crystal Sorey almost two years after she disappeared in 2019
Harmony's father, who has been charged with murder in connection with her death, pled guilty to abuse of a corpse and falsifying evidence. Harmony's remains have never been found
Harmony's stepmother Kayla Montgomery — who pleaded guilty to charges that she lied to law enforcement to hinder their murder investigation — is serving an 18-month prison sentence
The father of Harmony Montgomery is guilty of covering up the death of his 5-year-old daughter but claims that it was his ex Kayla who last saw her alive, his lawyer says.
"Kayla Montgomery was the last person to see Harmony alive and knows how Harmony died," Adam Montgomery’s attorney James Brooks told the jury Thursday in Adam Montgomery's trial, per CBS News. "Adam is not an innocent here. He and Kayla covered up Montgomery's death ... Adam Montgomery did not kill Harmony."
Adam Montgomery is accused of beating Harmony to death in December 2019, after she became incontinent in their car. Harmony's remains have never been found.
"Just as she feared would happen, the defendant smelled what she had done and for that, he hit her," said prosecutor Christopher Knowles during opening statements, CBS News reported.
After the attack, Montgomery, now 34, allegedly "pulled into that parking lot at Burger King and he ordered his food,” Knowles said. “He ordered his food and he ate. He didn't stop to check on Harmony. He didn't look back at her. He didn't show any concern for this innocent little girl, the child he had just beaten. He ordered his food, and he ate. And he didn't stop."
In the months after the girl’s death, Montgomery allegedly toted Harmony’s body — in a red Under Armour duffel bag, tied up in trash bags — all over Manchester, N.H.
Authorities said he placed Harmony's body in a cooler and stowed her over a vent in a shelter he shared with his wife and two sons. Then, authorities allege, he placed Harmony's body into a closet when neighbors complained of the smell, and then snuck her remains into his workplace freezer.
Finally in the early morning hours of March 2020, authorities said he carted her away in a U-Haul to dump her remains at an undisclosed location. She wasn’t reported missing until December 2021 — two years after her disappearance.
During opening statements, Brooks said that Kayla, who pleaded guilty to perjury charges and is serving an 18-month sentence, lied to investigators about her involvement and wanted immunity against prosecution.
“Kayla was willing to sing for her supper. Not for truth, not for Harmony, but for Kayla. Kayla was all about protecting herself to wiggle out of accountability for her own conduct,” Brooks said, per Boston.com.
“After you have heard all the evidence in this case and apply the facts to the law, you will know that Adam did not murder his daughter or engage in witness tampering with Kayla,” Brooks told the jury. “Kayla was an equal participant in the coverup. She alone knows how Harmony died, and she won’t tell.”
On Wednesday, Adam Montgomery, who did not appear in court for opening statements, admitted in a video call to the presiding judge that he was guilty of abuse of a corpse and falsifying evidence.
"Do you wish for them to acknowledge your guilt, on both of those charges, falsifying physical evidence and abuse of corpse?" Judge Amy Messer asked Montgomery, NBC Boston reported.
"Yes," he answered, per NBC Boston.
Montgomery is also facing second-degree murder, second-degree assault and witness tampering charges. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges, per NBC Boston.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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