MANCHESTER, N.H. (Court TV) — A New Hampshire jury has found Adam Montgomery guilty of all charges in the death of his 5-year-old daughter, Harmony Montgomery.
After two days of deliberations, Adam was convicted of second-degree murder, second-degree assault, falsifying physical evidence, abuse of a corpse and witness tampering. Sentencing is scheduled for May 9.
Using a timeline put together by investigators, prosecutors argued Harmony was murdered in Dec. 2019, though she wasn’t reported missing for nearly two years. Her mother, Crystal Sorey, alerted police to Harmony’s disappearance on Nov. 18, 2021, after she was unable to reach her for months.
Editor’s note: The following story contains graphic descriptions.
Prosecutors said that Adam beat Harmony to death on Dec. 7, 2019, while the two were living in a car with Adam’s wife, Kayla, and the couple’s other children. Kayla told police that Adam was angry because Harmony would frequently have accidents in the car and that he would frequently hit her in the head with a closed fist.
Investigators said that over the next several months, Adam and Kayla moved Harmony’s body from the car, to banks of snow, to a cooler, to a ceiling vent and a walk-in freezer as they continued to conceal her death. Adam also tried to help decomposition with lime.
Investigators said that in the spring of 2020, Adam rented a U-Haul and took the bag with Harmony’s remains to dispose of them. Her body was never found.
Adam denied any involvement in his daughter’s murder but has not offered to help the police search for her. When police made contact with him on Dec. 31, 2021, they handed him a court order demanding him to cooperate and assist in finding Harmony, to which he responded, “either arrest me or I’m leaving,” and refused to answer questions.
Ahead of trial, a judge ruled that the jury would get to see his conversations with police where he refuses to help them find Harmony, and denied a defense request to keep out evidence related to the purchase of lime at Home Depot.
In their opening statement, Adam’s public defender admitted his client helped cover up Harmony’s death, but pointed the finger at Kayla for murder. Following the state’s case, the defense declined to put on a case.
Montgomery is currently serving a decades-long prison sentence in a weapons theft case. Although he waived his right to appear during his murder trial, prosecutors said they intend to file a motion requiring he attend the sentencing.
DAILY TRIAL UPDATES
DAY 11 – 2/22/24
- The jury finds Adam Montgomery guilty of all charges
- The jury asks a question
DAY 10 – 2/21/24
- The defense rests without presenting a case.
- In their closing argument, public defender Caroline Smith blamed Kayla Montgomery for the murder of Harmony.
- Prosecutor Ben Agati said defendant Adam Montgomery is an ‘enraged tyrant’ who had no business being around Harmony before detailing the steps he allegedly took to conceal the child’s death.
- The jury begins deliberations
DAY 9 – 2/20/24
- Rebecca Maines said Adam Montgomery told her he hated Harmony because she reminded him of her mother, Crystal Sorey.
- In recorded phone calls, the jury heard defendant Adam Montgomery say investigators ‘wasted their time’ searching by the river.
- Following the testimony of Capt. Matthew Larochelle, the state rested their case-in-chief.
DAY 8 – 2/16/24
- Travis Beach, a longtime friend of defendant Adam Montgomery, testified that he helped the defendant rent a U-Haul in 2020.
- Beach said that while smoking a cigarette outside, Adam told him that he (expletive) up, but he did not ask him to clarify.
- Nicole Giles testified to seeing bruising on Kayla Montgomery while staying at a shelter in 2020. Giles said Kayla told her the bruises were from defendant Adam Montgomery.
- Manchester Police Officer Craig Stanzel testified to bodyworn camera video from a 2021 encounter where Adam Montgomery refused to assist police in helping to find Harmony.
- Adam appears to be wearing the same shirt seen in Walmart surveillance footage.
- WATCH: Adam Montgomery Seen Refgusing to Help Police on Bodycam
- WATCH: Murder of Harmony Montgomery Trial: Day 8 Recap
DAY 7 – 2/15/24
- The jury heard more testimony from investigators that searched the shelter Adam and Kayla stayed in after Harmony’s alleged murder.
- Former co-workers of Adam testified they saw the defendant carrying a tote bag in Portland Pie Company and leaving it in the walk-in cooler
- Det. Max Rahill testified Adam Montgomery purchased limestone and a grinder at Home Depot in Feb. 2020, two months after Harmony’s death.
DAY 6 – 2/14/24
- The jury heard testimony from investigators that searched the shelter Adam and Kayla stayed in after Harmony’s alleged murder. Investigators presented pieces of stained ceiling tile. It’s alleged that Adam hid Harmony’s body in the ceiling of their room.
DAY 5 – 2/13/24
- The jury heard testimony from police officers that processed the Chrysler Sebring that Harmony was allegedly killed in
- Anthony Bodero told the jury that when he loaned Adam and Kayla Montgomery his car to live in, Harmony wasn’t with them.
- Kayla Montgomery’s mother, Christina Lubin, testified she left money for her Kayla in the red cooler where Harmony Montgomery’s body was allegedly stored.
DAY 4 – 2/12/24
- Kayla Montgomery, the defendant’s estranged wife, returned to the stand to continue cross-examination.
- Kayla was repeatedly asked to go over the timeline of events that she said happened in the car, as Adam’s defense attorney accused her of lying about how and when Harmony was killed.
- Kayla detailed living in a car with three children, saying all of them ate baby food.
- Kayla admitted she cares about Adam, saying he was her best friend.
- Courtney Garcia, who married a childhood friend of the defendant’s, testified that she offered the family gas money and a place to stay on Thanksgiving 2019. Garcia said that all three children were there, but that Adam referenced returning her to her mother and said that she would be “better off” with her mother.
- Kimberly Frain, who worked at Dunkin Donuts with Kayla and Adam and babysat for their children, described meeting up with them when their car stalled in the middle of the night.
- Frain said that when she arrived to give them a jump, they were driving in a blue Audi and Kayla came into her car with the two boys to get warm. Harmony was not with her, and Frain said she did not see Harmony at all that night.
DAY 3 – 2/9/24
- The defendant’s estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, took the stand
- On direct-examination, Kayla testified that Adam repeatedly beat Harmony while they were living in their car because he was upset she was having accidents.
- Kayla testified that following Harmony’s death, they spent the following weeks moving her remains until Adam tried to decay the child’s remains with the mineral lime
- WATCH: Kayla Montgomery: ‘I went Along with Lie Because I Was Scared’
- WATCH: Kayla Montgomery: Adam Was Trying to ‘Dethaw’ Harmony’s Body in Tub
- WATCH: Kayla Montgomery Told Police Adam Dropped Harmony Off at Her Mother’s
- READ MORE: Stepmother describes Harmony Montgomery’s murder, steps to hide body
DAY 2 – 2/8/24
- Prosecutor Christopher Knowles said Adam Montgomery made his daughter ‘the dead girl in the duffel bag’ after fatally beating her. In his opening statement, he described how Adam allegedly beat Harmony then continued eat his food, do drugs and drive around as the child died in the backseat.
- Public defender James Brooks admitted Adam Montgomery helped cover up Harmony’s death, but pointed the finger at Kayla Montgomery for the child’s murder.
- Harmony’s biological mother, Crystal Sorey, testified about the efforts she took to find her missing daughter.
- Adam’s uncle, Kevin Montgomery, admitted on the stand that he didn’t want to testify against his nephew but was subpoenaed. He testified to an incident in 2019 when he found Harmony in the kitchen with a black eye and Adam told him he “bashed her around the f*****g house.”
- READ MORE:
DAY 1 – 2/7/24
- Ahead of a jury view, the attorneys detailed the route they would take and how it pertains to the case
- Moments after the jury left the courtroom, defendant Adam Montgomery appeared via video conference and told the judge he’s guilty of two charges: falsifying physical evidence and abuse of a corpse