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As it happenedended1708694728

Harmony Montgomery’s mother reacts as father Adam is convicted of her murder

GRAPHIC WARNING: Disturbing content. Harmony Montgomery, five, was last seen alive in late 2019, but authorities in Manchester, New Hampshire, only started looking for her two years later

Andrea Blanco
Friday 23 February 2024 13:25 GMT
Adam Montgomery convicted of second-degree murder of daughter Harmony

The mother of slain five-year-old Harmony Montgomery spoke to reporters outside a courtroom after the little girl’s father was convicted of her murder.

Jurors convicted Adam Montgomery on all charges following a gruelling trial which took place more than four years on from when Harmony was last seen alive in 2019.

Authorities failed to search for the missing child – who was known to protective services – for more than two years after she went missing.

Kayla Montgomery testified that her husband struck the Harmony several times after she had a bathroom accident.

She testified that, after killing her, the family drove to a Burger King. She fed her two young sons and placed a sandwich on Harmony’s lap without realising she was dead.

“After the defendant repeatedly struck Harmony. After he put the blanket over her. After she moaned. After the strange crying moaning stopped. After you did drugs and after the car died, you thought she was sleeping under that blanket,” the prosecutor said.

“Why did you think that she may be sleeping after Adam repeatedly struck her?”

“Because she would usually just go to sleep after,” Kayla answered.

The little girl’s remains were hidden in a ceiling vent at a shelter where the family stayed after her death. Montgomery snuck the remains into his workplace freezer, before disposing of them in March 2020. Harmony’s remains have never been found.

After the verdict was handed down, Harmony’s mother Crystal Sorey told reporters she was “grateful” that it was over – but vowed that she and authorities would not stop fighting to find her daughter’s body.

She also slammed Montgomery as a “coward” for failing to attend any of his trial.

In a press conference, Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg also vowed to continue to push to find Harmony.

“We’re still going to find her,” Chief Aldenberg told reporters as he choked back tears.

“This girl deserves better than the life that she had. This is never about winning or losing, this is about a five-year-old girl who was killed by her father. And I can’t think of a worse crime.”

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Harmony’s mother breaks down in tears during closing arguments

Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, cried and at times covered her ears as prosecutors spoke about the horrific ways in which Harmony’s remains were handled.

(AP)
(AP)
(AP)
Andrea Blanco21 February 2024 21:49
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Adam Montgomery’s defence tries to blame Harmony’s murder on wife in closing statements

After two-and-a-half weeks and testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, the prosecution and the defence delivered their closing arguments on Wednesday morning. The defence rested its case without calling any witnesses, but told jurors to take testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery with a grain of salt.

Defence attorney Caroline Smith said that, while his client “did horrible things” to conceal Harmony’s body, he did not kill his daughter.

“Adam did some very very bad things but he did not kill his daughter,” Ms Smith told jurors.

The Independent’s Andrea Blanco reports:

Adam Montgomery tries to blame Harmony’s murder on wife in closing statements

‘Kayla decided to lie about Harmony’s death,’ defence attorney Caroline Smith told jurors. ‘She had to lie because the truth would point to her’

Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 00:00
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WATCH: Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife says she ‘still care about’ him after alleged abuse

Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife says she ‘still care about’ him after alleged abuse
Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 01:00
1708567229

Jury starts deliberating in trial of New Hampshire man accused of killing daughter

A prosecutor said Wednesday that a New Hampshire man accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter treated her like a thing he’d broken and needed to throw away. But his lawyer said he wasn’t guilty of her death though he made terrible decisions to hide and move her body to keep his family together.

Jurors heard closing arguments before opening deliberations in the two-week trial of Adam Montgomery on a second-degree murder charge in the case of his daughter, Harmony Montgomery. Police first learned the girl was missing in December 2021 and said she was killed, though her body was never found.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Caroline Smith said Montgomery moved the body and hid it because of “a very misguided belief” he had to do so “to keep his family from being ripped apart.”

But prosecutor Benjamin Agati told jurors a different story. He said Montgomery, 34, was angry that his daughter was having bathroom accidents inside the car they were living in after they were evicted from their home. He said Montgomery punched her in the head until she died.

“All he has is his car, and his rage, and his fists,” Agati said, later adding, “She doesn’t get a headstone in the ground above the head that he battered. She doesn’t get to be at peace and death because of what he did, because he can’t afford to tell anyone where she is.”

Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 02:00
1708570858

Harmony Montgomery trial prosecutors use father Adam’s own words against him: ‘I f***ed up’

Jury deliberations have begun in Montgomery’s trial after the defence and prosecutors concluded their cases on Wednesday.

Montgomery, 34, is facing a second-degree for allegedly beating Harmony Montgomery to death in December 2019. He conceded to two lesser charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information earlier during the proceedings.

The defence rested their case without calling any witnesses but told jurors to take testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery with a grain of salt. Attorney Caroline Smith said that, while his client “did horrible things” to conceal Harmony’s body, he did not kill his “baby girl.”

Meanwhile, prosecutor Ben Agati warned jurors “not to be fooled” by Montgomery’s partial admission.

The Independent’s Andrea Blanco reports:

Harmony Montgomery trial prosecutors use father Adam’s own words against him

‘He admits what he can’t deny. He denies what he can’t afford to admit,’ prosecutor Ben Agati told jury

Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 03:00
1708574458

Harmony Montgomery was missing two years before anyone noticed. Now her father is on trial for murder

Harmony Montgomery, five, was last seen in the fall of 2019, but authorities only started searching for her two years later. Now, her father Adam Montgomery is finally standing trial for her murder.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp and Andrea Blanco report:

A missing child, murder and father on trial: What happened to Harmony Montgomery?

Harmony Montgomery, five, was last seen in the fall of 2019, but authorities only started searching for her two years later. Now, her father Adam Montgomery is finally standing trial for her murder. Rachel Sharp and Andrea Blanco report

Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 04:00
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WATCH: Friend who loaned car to Adam Montgomery denies seeing child Harmony

Friend who loaned car to Adam Montgomery denies seeing child Harmony
Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 05:00
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Adam Montgomery’s fingerprints found next to Harmony’s blood

After Harmony was killed on 7 December 2019, her father, stepmother Kayla Montgomery, and the couple’s two infant children moved in with Kayla’s mother. At that time, Montgomery reportedly kept Harmony’s remains inside a red freezer with a white lid.

The family later moved to a shelter, where Montgomery then hid Harmony’s body inside a ceiling vent.

“He compressed and contorted her body into this bag,” the prosecution said while showing a medium-sized tote bag.

The state said that when investigators returned to the room two years later, they saw deep blood stains in the ceiling vent and smelled decomposition.

“And surrounding Harmony’s blood, all that was left of her .... the defendant’s fingerprints and palm prints, froze in there for a time,” the prosecution said.

Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 06:00
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Harmony Montgomery trial thrown into confusion as mystery caller dials into tip line

A mystery caller dialled into a tip line with information about the Harmony Montgomery case amid her father’s New Hampshire trial over the little girl’s alleged murder.

The developments were revealed by Adam Montgomery’s defence attorney at the end of his second week of trial in Manchester. Montgomery, who is accused of beating Harmony to death in December 2019, is facing a count of second-degree murder.

Harmony Montgomery’s mother asks court to declare little girl dead amid murder trial

Crystal Sorey plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Harmony Montgomery’s estate

Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 07:00
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Adam Montgomery tries to toss wife’s testimony about Harmony’s violent murder

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.

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”.

Andrea Blanco22 February 2024 08:00

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