Adam Montgomery tries to toss wife’s testimony about Harmony’s violent murder

Judge Amy Messer denied the defence motion seeking to dismiss testimony from Kayla Montgomery

Andrea Blanco
Tuesday 20 February 2024 18:31 GMT
Friend who loaned car to Adam Montgomery denies seeing child Harmony

A New Hampshire judge has denied Adam Montgomery’s request to dismiss key testimony from his estranged wife in his trial over the murder of his five-year-old daughter Harmony.

Montgomery is standing trial in Manchester more than four years after he allegedly beat Harmony to death in December 2019. He had obtained custody of the little girl after she was removed from the care of her mother, who was struggling with substance abuse issues at the time.

The prosecution’s case has largely hinged on testimony from Harmony’s stepmother Kayla Montgomery as well as expert investigators and DNA evidence.

Last week, Kayla testified that Montgomery murdered Harmony on 7 December 2019 after she soiled herself inside the car where the family was living following an eviction from their home.

He allegedly punched the little girl in the head multiple times.

For the next two months, Montgomery allegedly moved Harmony’s body numerous times before using power tools and chemicals to grind down her remains in the bathroom of his Union Street apartment. He then disposed of what was left of Harmony in an unknown location in March 2020.

Over the holiday weekend, the defence filed a motion seeking to toss out Kayla’s testimony, claiming that the state had tried to influence her testimony. Montgomery’s attorneys said they had decided against requesting a mistrial at that point, but wanted jurors to dismiss Kayla’s account of the events on 7 December 2019.

After the prosecution rested its case on Tuesday, defence attorney Caroline Smith argued that Kayla had “no credibility”.

“The only evidence with regards to how Harmony died, or who killed Harmony is Kayla Montgomery’s testimony,” Ms Smith said. “Kayla Montgomery is a convicted perjurer. Her story went through various iterations, that I quite frankly think were pretty ludicrous as far as the degree of violence that nobody could accomplish in public and not be seen by anyone.”

Kayla previously told jurors that Harmony was so badly abused by her father that she was often kept under a blanket to cover the bruises on her body. She also said the little girl’s face was covered with dried blood from beatings in the days prior to her killing.

Adam Montgomery’s vehicle in an image shown in court
Adam Montgomery’s vehicle in an image shown in court (AP)

Earlier on in the trial, Montgomery conceded to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information. His attorneys have argued in court that Harmony died under Kayla’s care and that he went along with plans to hide her body to “protect” his family.

Ms Smith also argued that a charge of abuse against Montgomery should be dismissed. The assault count stems from an incident in August 2019 in which Montgomery allegedly gave Harmony a black eye.

Montgomery’s uncle Kevin Montgomery, who also took the stand, had notified the Division of Children, Youth & Families. He recounted to the jury how his nephew boasted about hitting Harmony and “bashing her around the house”.

When a DCYF employer pulled up to Montgomery’s driveway to follow up on the report, he drove away with Harmony in the car. By the time the employer checked on Harmony weeks later, she only had a red mark on her undereye that her father blamed on an accident she supposedly had while playing with her siblings.

“Nothing happened as far as that investigation,” Ms Smith told the court. “But based on what the facts were as of Summer 2019 there is no support for the allegations [of abuse.]”

Judge Amy Messina ruled against all of the defence’s motions.

The judge said on Tuesday that the trial is moving faster than expected and that deliberations could begin by the end of this week.

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