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

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

Andrea Blanco
Wednesday 21 February 2024 18:45 GMT
Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife says she ‘still care about’ him after alleged abuse

Prosecutors in Adam Montgomery’s trial used the accused child murderer’s own words against him during closing statements.

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.

“Let’s quote people accurately,” Mr Agati said, referencing Ms Attorney’s closing arguments. “‘I f***ed up.’ His language, that he used...the night that he disappeared Harmony’s body to wherever place it is now, where he knows. His words, ‘I f***ed up.’ Not she, not we, not Kayla. ‘I’. Singular, personal, solo.”

Mr Agati argued that Montgomery had only conceded on two charges because he thought jurors would then “let the murder charge slide.”

“He admits what he can’t deny. He denies what he can’t afford to admit,” the prosecutor told the court.

He continued: “And the other parts of her body. Her torso, her face, her eyes, that smile...only the defendant, as we sit and stand here today, knows where they are. And he can’t afford to say where they are, because the evidence contained on them will show that he caused her death, so she won’t get the burial that she deserves.”

Adam Montgomery pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in 2022 and proclaimed in court last year in an unrelated case that he did not kill his daughter. As his trial got underway in Manchester, his attorneys acknowledged he was guilty of two lesser charges of falsifying evidence and abusing a corpse.

Montgomery, who is serving a 30-year prison sentence for an unrelated gun conviction, hasn’t been attending his trial.

Montgomery and Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, were not in a relationship when Harmony was born in 2014. The child lived on and off with foster families and with her mother. Ms Sorey lost custody of Harmony in 2018, and Harmony was sent to live with her father in February 2019.

Ms Sorey testified that she last saw her daughter during a FaceTime call around Easter of that year.

Kayla Montgomery has been the star witness against her estranged husband. She is serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to perjury for lying during grand jury testimony about where she was when Harmony was last seen. She was not given immunity, but she acknowledged to defence lawyers that she hasn’t faced further consequences for inconsistencies in her various statements to police or prosecutors.

Kayla testified that her husband repeatedly punched Harmony in the head because the girl had wet herself. She said her family, including the couple’s two young sons, had been evicted and were living in a car at the time. According to Kayla, Adam punched Harmony at several stop lights as they drove from a methadone clinic to a fast food restaurant on the morning of 7 December 2019.

She also testified about handing food to the children without checking on Harmony, the subsequent discovery that the girl was dead, and all the places she said her husband hid the body, including in a ceiling vent at a homeless shelter and the walk-in freezer at her husband’s workplace.

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