MANCHESTER, N.H. (Court TV) — New motions filed by a man awaiting trial on charges he murdered his young daughter ask the judge to prevent prosecutors from showing the jury some key pieces of evidence.
Adam Montgomery is charged with second-degree murder, tampering with witnesses and informants, falsifying physical evidence and abuse of a corpse in the presumed death of his missing daughter, Harmony Montgomery. Harmony was 5 years old when prosecutors say she was murdered in Dec. 2019, but she was not reported missing for nearly two years.
On Dec. 13, Montgomery’s attorneys filed a motion asking for an encounter he had with police on Dec. 31, 2021, before his arrest, to be excluded from evidence.
A pretrial hearing on the motions is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2024.
The interaction was recorded by police bodycams when officers found Montgomery sleeping in his car. Officers said that Montgomery refused to speak to them when he was asked about the whereabouts of his daughter.
While a judge had already ruled in favor of the defense to suppress some statements, Montgomery’s attorneys are asking for the entire interaction to be tossed, saying that he was exercising his rights and that the entire video could be seen as prejudicial.
Prosecutors argued in response to the defense’s motion that while Montgomery’s statements were not admissible, the observations of the officers at the scene should still be allowed. Officers at the scene described Montgomery as “defensive,” and prosecutors said they believe that his general demeanor and observations of it made by police should be allowed in as evidence.
More than video, the defense is also trying to get some evidence thrown out that would link him to suspicious purchases. In a motion filed Dec. 21, Montgomery’s attorneys asked the judge to prevent the prosecution from introducing evidence that he purchased lime, a metal-cutting blade and a grinder from Home Depot.
In a probable cause affidavit, prosecutors said that Montgomery’s wife and Harmony’s stepmother, Kayla, told investigators that her husband had killed Harmony and that for months the couple kept the child’s body in a duffle bag, which they concealed in several different areas, including a ceiling vent.
In the defense motion, Adam Montgomery’s attorneys said that Kayla told officers that Adam “used lime to tamper with” Harmony’s remains, but denied knowing how, when or where the lime was obtained.
Lime (not to be confused with the citrus fruit) is a mineral, often used as a solvent, that is sometimes used by criminals with the mistaken impression that it speeds decomposition.
“There is no evidence that lime is such a unique purchase that would connect the purchases to the Montgomerys,” the defense wrote in their motion. “The police did not check other hardware stores, agricultural stores, or other locations that may have sold lime.”
Investigators said they tracked Adam Montgomery to a Home Depot in Hooksett, N.H., on Feb, 15, 202, where he bought a 40-pound bag of limestone. On Feb. 26, 2020, prosecutors said Montgomery purchased a battery and charger, grinder, metal cutting blade and another 40-pound bag of lime from Home Depot in Manchester, N.H.
Kayla Montgomery is expected to be a key witness at the upcoming trial, scheduled to begin on Feb. 7, 2024. She testified at her husband’s previous trial in June when he was convicted on weapons charges.
At the sentencing for those convictions, Montgomery addressed the court and denied any involvement in his daughter’s murder, saying, “I understand that I was found guilty by a jury, and I’m not here to dispute that all. The only consideration that I ask of you this morning is for you not to consider anything as it relates to the case regarding my daughter, Harmony. I did not kill my daughter, Harmony. I look forward to my upcoming trial to refute those offensive claims. … I love my daughter unconditionally and I did not kill her.”
Montgomery was sentenced to two sentences of 15-30 years and 7 1/2 to 15 years, all of which were ordered to be served consecutively.