By BETH HEMPHILL and Court TV Staff
MANCHESTER, N.H. (Court TV) — The father of missing Harmony Montgomery is standing trial over weapons he’s been accused of stealing, possessing and selling as a previously convicted felon. Adam Montgomery‘s defense attorneys argued Adam’s friend Ish took the guns with permission from the gun owner’s wife in exchange for drugs. Defense attorney Caroline Smith said in her opening statements, “Police didn’t pay attention to the missing guns until 2022, when Adam was arrested and when they wanted to get Adam for more.”
While this trial is seemingly unrelated to Harmony, the timeline is consistent with when prosecutors say Adam killed the missing 5-year-old in Dec. 2019. In the state’s objection to the defendant’s motion to preclude Kayla Montgomery’s testimony, they acknowledge that while investigators tried to separate the two cases, there was a “significant bleed-over” between topics.
Harmony was not reported missing until Nov. 2021. In Aug. 2022, authorities said they believed she had been killed. They announced charges against Adam two months later. Investigators are still searching for her remains.
In Adam’s weapons trial, the guns were reported stolen on October 3, 2019. Here are the key players:
The 31-year-old defendant is currently on trial facing multiple counts of armed career criminal charges, felon in possession, theft, and receiving stolen property related to a rifle and a shotgun that the prosecution says Adam stole in September/October 2019. Adam is currently incarcerated at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections, according to an indictment. His next trial is scheduled for August 2023, where he’s accused of “recklessly causing the death of Harmony Montgomery by repeatedly striking her on the head with a closed fist,” according to the State’s complaint.
Kayla, the defendant Adam Montgomery’s wife, testified in Adam’s weapons trial on Monday, June 5, 2023. She said she’s known Adam since high school. The couple was married June 7, 2017 and have three children together.
Kayla said she was arrested and incarcerated for a couple of months in January 2022 for welfare fraud after collecting food stamps for the missing child. Prosecutors later dropped the fraud charge and replaced it with theft and perjury charges related to the weapons case against her husband and for lying to police about Harmony’s whereabouts.
According to Kayla’s testimony, she was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property (the guns) and two counts of perjury. She said she had been sentenced to 3.5 – 7 years, with 1.5 years off her minimum sentence. The prosecution dropped her theft charges in November under the contingency that if she violated their agreement, the theft charges could be reinstated. She’s hoping for no more than 2 years behind bars.
In October 2019, Kayla said she was living with Adam, two of their kids, and her stepdaughter, Harmony, in their Gilford St. home in Manchester, NH. until November 2019, when they were evicted. Back then, she worked a 6am-2pm shift at Dunkin’ Donuts. Her husband Adam would drive her to and from work.
In the evenings, she would stay home with the kids, while Adam would go for evening drug runs. They supported their kids and drug habits with Kayla’s paycheck, which she described as “barely anything.” They would also use food stamps to help feed the family. Kayla said her drugs of choice were heroin and crack, and Adam’s was heroin.
The first time she described seeing the “big” guns, she was inside her home. While she was in the kitchen, Adam was in the living room showing off two guns he had available to buy or trade for drugs. She said Mike, Manny and Ish were all with Adam in the living room, when Kevin O’Leary, who she later learned to be Kevin LaBelle, showed up with another guy.
This meeting was weeks after Adam admitted to taking the guns from Chris and Kim’s house. Kayla was upset with Adam for stealing from their friends and upset that he brought guns into their home, which could have landed Adam in trouble for because he was a felon.
On the stand, Kayla said Adam told her about the night he took the guns. He told her while Kim was passed out, he entered the home through an open door, the dog didn’t bark, and he took the guns. Adam told Kayla that later the same night, he went back to Kim’s and woke her to tell her the guns were missing.
Kayla doesn’t remember Adam bringing the guns inside their home, but says she knew he was keeping them in their attic. Weeks later, Adam sold the guns to “two white guys,” who walked out of their home with both guns, Kayla testified. One of these men she believed was Kevin O’Leary, the other was the driver. According to Kayla, Kim called her shortly after the guns were taken and told her about the incident. She said Kim also told her a police report had been filed, and that her neighbors had security footage.
Kayla told the court that when she was subpoenaed to be questioned about Harmony, she lied to the grand jury because she was scared.
Ishmael Gabriel (Ish)
Ish was a close friend of Adam Montgomery. The two would often hang out and use drugs together, according to many of Adam’s friends who testified at his weapons trial. According to the defense, Chris Frain’s guns were taken by Ish, not Adam, with consent from Chris’ wife, Kim. Kim Frain testified that she would lend Ish her vehicle and handguns at various times in exchange for drugs and that it was possible he would know where Chris’ guns were kept under the bed.
Christopher Frain (Chris)
Chris Frain is a Manchester, NH native who testified as the State’s first witness in Adam Montgomery’s 2023 weapons trial about guns taken from his home in the fall of 2019. On the stand, Chris testified that the firearms had been stolen while he was away on a business trip and his then-wife, Kim Frain, was home with their young daughter at the time. The couple has since separated, having parted ways in 2020.
The guns included an HK45 pistol, a Ruger LCP, a Stag Arms AR-15 and a black 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun with a scope and thumbhole for better grip. Chris told the jury that the two handguns he kept in his dresser drawers were not taken. Chris said the two long guns he kept under his bed wrapped in a blanket had been stolen. Chris reported the guns, his watch and a few other miscellaneous items stolen to the police. He immediately suspected his then-wife Kim, who he said was the only person to know about the weapons under the bed. Chris said he got the shotgun from a friend and the AR-15 from his brother, Connor, about a month before it was stolen.
Kimberly Frain (Also known as “Kim” or “Kimmy”)
The State’s second witness in Adam Montgomery’s weapons trial was Kim Frain. She testified that she used to work at Dunkin’ Donuts with Adam and Kayla Montgomery in the fall of 2019. She was married to Chris Frain at the time. She described that time of her life as a low point. “I was doing drugs, he was doing drugs, bad things were happening all around us,” Kim testified.
Kim said both she and Kayla were pregnant at the same time. Kim said she was three-years sober currently, but admitted to being an addict during this bad time of her life. She said her connection with Adam and Kayla turned into a drug relationship. Kim testified about three guns she says were taken from their home along with a silver wedding band, which she said she pawned months before the guns were taken. She said the guns were taken from her home while she was passed out on the couch.
When her husband returned home from a work trip, she said he looked under the bed and couldn’t find the guns. They searched the whole house for them, and she said her husband became angry and began throwing things down the stairs and around the house. He went to bed, then called the police the next day.
Chris reported three guns missing: the AR-15, the shotgun, and one of the handguns. The handguns were recovered, but the AR-15 and shotgun were not.
During cross-examination, Kim admitted she would move the large guns behind the couch where she slept when Chris was gone so they wouldn’t get stolen. She also admitted she could have possibly told Ish where the guns were.
Kevin LaBelle (Also known as: Kevin O’Leary)
LaBelle, who made an immunity deal in exchange for his testimony in Adam Montgomery’s weapons trial, has been convicted of several felonies over the years and is currently serving a parole setback sentence. In the fall of 2019, Labelle and Adam Montgomery would hang out and use drugs together. Labelle testified that he bought a black Mossberg shotgun from Adam for $250. When he purchased the gun, Adam’s wife Kayla and their kids were home. A few months later, LaBelle sold the gun he bought back to Adam for 1.5 grams of crack cocaine.
Michael Sullivan (Mike)
Mike used to be friends with Adam Montgomery and testified for the State in Adam’s weapons trial. In the fall of 2019, Mike was doing construction jobs in Manchester. He became an addict starting with Percocet, then moving on to heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. Mike testified about the AR-15 that he said Adam first offered to sell to him, but after he refused, he sold it to a buddy in exchange for money and drugs. He also described a conversation he had with Adam about whether Kimmy (Kimberly Frain) had video evidence of Adam stealing the guns, to which Mike said Adam replied, “I know she doesn’t have cameras because I would be in jail by now.”
The search for Harmony Montgomery continues, and officials request the public’s assistance with locating her. Anyone with information regarding her disappearance or current whereabouts is asked to call the Manchester Police Department’s 24-hour Harmony Montgomery tip line at (603) 203-6060.
The charges and allegations against Adam and Kayla Montgomery are merely accusations, and both are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.