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Adam Montgomery to plead guilty to hiding daughter Harmony’s body as murder trial begins

Adam Montgomery to plead guilty to hiding daughter Harmony’s body as murder trial begins

Adam Montgomery has said he intends to plead guilty to two charges in the death of his five-year-old daughter Harmony.

Montgomery, who did not appear in person during Wednesday’s proceedings in Manchester, New Hampshire, acknowledged that he had falsified evidence and abused a corpse in connection with Harmony’s December 2019 death.

He has not pleaded guilty to a count of second-degree murder, and his trial on that charge is expected to continue as planned.

Judge Amy Messer’s warning to jurors that “things don’t always go as planned” proved true after plans were changed to delay opening statements until after a jury view of key locations in the case. Shortly after jurors were sent on the tour, Montgomery’s attorneys and prosecutors returned to the courtroom to announce that he had conceded two of the charges he faced.

Judge Messer asked Montgomery if he had spoken to his attorneys in detail about the legal move, and whether he was aware of what it entailed.

“Do you wish for your [attorneys] to acknowledge your guilt on both of those charges?” Judge Messer asked.

“Yes, I do,” Montgomery answered as he appeared via video conference.

Harmony Montgomery was killed in December 2019 by her father, prosecutors allege (Manchester Police Department)
Harmony Montgomery was killed in December 2019 by her father, prosecutors allege (Manchester Police Department)

Judge Messer said jurors will be notified of Montgomery’s guilty pleas once they return to court.

The judge went on to admonish Montgomery for his refusal to show up in court after she had sent transportation to the facility where he is jailed. The judge warned Montgomery that if he agreed today to attend court in person on Thursday, he had to follow through with the commitment.

The judge said that if Montgomery wanted to waive his presence, he had to inform the court the day before.

After jury selection concluded on Wednesday, the panel went on a view of different key locations in the case. They are expected to visit the Gilford Street home where Harmony, her father, stepmother and siblings lived before they were evicted in November 2019.

Jurors will also drive by the parking lot of a building complex where the Montgomerys lived in their car months after. The final location will be an apartment on Union Street where the Montgomerys lived.

Jurors will only be able to take a look at the complex from the bus. Prosecutor Ben Agati also said during pre-view statements that the jurors would be driving by the pizza show where Montgomery worked and where he allegedly hid the body in a walk-in freezer before disposing of it.

Adam Montgomery and his lawyers Caroline Smith and James Brooks watch as potential jurors enter the courtroom for jury selection ahead of his murder trial at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Tuesday (AP)
Adam Montgomery and his lawyers Caroline Smith and James Brooks watch as potential jurors enter the courtroom for jury selection ahead of his murder trial at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Tuesday (AP)

The case of Harmony Montgomery, who was born in Massachusetts to unmarried parents with a history of substance abuse, exposed weaknesses in child protection systems and provoked calls to prioritize the well-being of children over parents in custody matters. Harmony was moved between the homes of her mother and her foster parents multiple times before her father received custody in 2019 and moved to New Hampshire.

A key prosecution witness is expected to be Adam’s estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, who is serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to perjury charges.

Montgomery was admonished by the judge for failing to attend court after saying he would
Montgomery was admonished by the judge for failing to attend court after saying he would

Kayla told detectives in 2022 that she, her husband, their other children and Harmony were in the car when Montgomery “delivered sets of three-to-four blows with a closed fist to Harmony’s face” after she had a bathroom accident.

The couple noticed Harmony was dead hours later when the car broke down, at which time Montgomery put her body in a duffel bag, Kayla said.

For the next three months, investigators allege, Montgomery moved the body from container to container and place to place. According to his wife, the locations included the trunk of a friend’s car, a cooler in the hallway of his mother-in-law’s apartment building, the ceiling vent of a homeless shelter and an apartment freezer.

The little girl’s disappearance and death went unreported for more than two years, until her mother, who lost custody due to a substance abuse problem, reported her missing in late 2021. A massive search for Harmony was announced on New Year’s Eve, and 10 months later Montgomery was charged with murder.

Harmony’s remains have never been found.