MANCHESTER, N.H. — A New Hampshire man charged with killing his 5-year-old daughter and spending months shifting her physique earlier than disposing of it has declined to attend the beginning of his trial Wednesday.
A jury of 12 individuals and 5 alternates was seated for the trial of Adam Montgomery, 34, in Manchester. His daughter, Harmony Montgomery, disappeared in 2019, however police didn’t know she was lacking till two years later. Police later decided she had been killed. Her physique has not been discovered.
Judge Amy Messer informed the pool of potential jurors Wednesday morning that Adam Montgomery had a proper to seem at his trial, however he additionally had a proper to not.
“You are not to speculate on why he is not here today” nor draw any inferences, she mentioned.
Adam Montgomery pleaded not responsible in 2022 to fees of second-degree homicide, abuse of a corpse, falsifying bodily proof, assault and witness tampering. The trial is anticipated to final about three weeks. He’s been incarcerated since 2022.
Jury choice started Tuesday. Lawyers had been anticipated to ship opening statements Wednesday afternoon and the jury could go to a number of websites that performed a task within the case.
“I did not kill my daughter Harmony and I look forward to my upcoming trial to refute those offensive claims,” Montgomery, 34, mentioned in courtroom final August earlier than he was sentenced on unrelated gun fees.
He acknowledged he was an addict: “I could have had a meaningful life, but I blew that opportunity through drugs. I loved my daughter unconditionally and I did not kill her.”
The case of Harmony Montgomery, who was born in Massachusetts to single dad and mom with a historical past of substance abuse, uncovered weaknesses in youngster safety programs and provoked calls to prioritize the well-being of kids over dad and mom in custody issues. Harmony was moved between the houses of her mom and her foster dad and mom a number of occasions earlier than Adam Montgomery acquired custody in 2019 and moved to New Hampshire.
A key prosecution witness is anticipated to be Adam’s estranged spouse, Kayla Montgomery, who’s serving an 18-month jail sentence after pleading responsible to perjury fees. She agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
According to an affidavit, Kayla Montgomery informed police that her husband killed Harmony on Dec. 7, 2019, whereas the household lived of their automotive. Kayla, who was Harmony’s stepmother, mentioned Adam was driving to a quick meals restaurant when he circled and repeatedly punched Harmony within the face and head as a result of he was indignant that she was having toilet accidents within the automotive.
“I think I really hurt her this time. I think I did something,” he mentioned, based on Kayla.
The couple observed Harmony was lifeless hours later when the automotive broke down, at which period Adam put her physique in a duffel bag, Kayla mentioned.
For the following three months, investigators allege, Adam moved the physique from container to container and place to position. According to his spouse, the places included the trunk of a buddy’s automotive, a cooler within the hallway of his mother-in-law’s condo constructing, the ceiling vent of a homeless shelter and an condo freezer.
At one level, the stays had been stored in a tote bag from a hospital maternity ward, and Kayla mentioned she positioned it in between her personal younger kids in a stroller and introduced it to her husband’s office.
Investigators allege that Adam Montgomery disposed of the physique in March 2020 utilizing a rented shifting truck. Toll information exhibits the truck in query crossed the Tobin Bridge in Boston a number of occasions, however the affidavit has no different location info to point the situation of Harmony’s physique. Last 12 months, police searched a marshy space in Revere, Massachusetts.