MANCHESTER, N.H. — Adam Montgomery faces the possibility of decades in prison after a jury found him guilty of six felony charges related to the theft of a shotgun and assault rifle in 2019.
The jury, sitting in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District, reached the verdict after deliberating for about four hours over two days.
Montgomery, 33, showed no emotion as the jury foreman rendered the verdicts.
They found him guilty of two counts each of being an armed career criminal; theft by unauthorized taking, and receiving stolen property.
The jury heard testimony over four days from a circle of Montgomery’s friends in 2019 when his lifestyle centered around drugs, both selling and using them. In total, those witnesses testified to seeing the guns, holding the guns, buying a gun or seeing one of the guns sold.
Kayla Montgomery, his estranged wife who has filed for a divorce, was one of the key witnesses. She testified Adam told her he stole the guns from the Russell Street home of their friends Chris and Kimberly Frain. She was upset that he stole from their friends, didn’t return the guns, and that he kept them in the attic of their house.
The defense maintained Montgomery didn’t steal the guns. It was Kimberly Frain, they alleged, who traded the guns for drugs to Ishmael Garcia, who she testified was her alleged drug supplier.
Public Defender Robin Davis, in her closing argument, said those witnesses had reasons to give police what they wanted: They were facing criminal charges, charges that later were dropped, as in the cases of Kimberly Frain, Mike Sullivan and Kayla Montgomery, estranged wife, who was charged with gun offenses related to the same Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and Stag Arms AR-15.
Prosecutor Chris Knowles, an assistant New Hampshire Attorney General, said what witnesses testified to was the truth. The case, he said, was a remarkably simple one: Montgomery stole the guns, he possessed the guns and he is a three-time convicted felon.
Davis told the jurors nothing came of the investigation into the gun thefts in late September early October, 2019.
While Davis didn’t mention the investigation into Montgomery’s daughter, Harmony, who disappeared in late 2019 and is presumed dead, she hinted at the investigation when she said Manchester police in 2022 wanted information about Adam Montgomery. Manchester police didn’t learn Harmony was missing until late 2021.
In January 2022, he was arrested on charges of abusing Harmony and other offenses.
Nine months later, on Oct. 25, 2022, Montgomery was charged with second-degree murder; abuse of a corpse, for unlawfully removing, concealing or destroying and witness tampering for attempting to cause his estranged wife to testify falsely. The murder trial is to take place late this year.
Some of those witnesses who knew Montgomery back in 2019, all of whom are now sober, testified about their struggles with drugs and the dark times they were in back then.
Kayla Montgomery, who is in prison serving a sentence for two counts of perjury for lying to a grand jury investigating Harmony’s disappearance, testified it took going to jail to get sober.
Davis said the witnesses’ stories changed each time they were reinterviewed by police.
Knowles said what Davis told the jury is not evidence. “The story you just got? That’s not evidence. That was created by an attorney,” he said in his closing argument.
The case, he told the jury, is “a remarkably simple case.”
Twenty days after the guns were reported stolen, police arrested Jonathan Sargent, 40, of Manchester, for selling fentanyl and methamphetamine. Sargent is serving a 13-year sentence in federal prison.
When he was arrested, police recovered the Stag Arms AR-15 that was stolen from the Frains.
In Sargent’s cell phone, they found Adam Montgomery’s contact information.
Garcia’s name was not among his contacts. Garcia, Knowles said, is the “boogie man.”
Additionally, investigators pointed to Montgomery’s Facebook account where he messaged Mark Reed on Oct. 3, 2019, “I got something you’re going to really like.”
Montgomery gave Reed a phone number to call him because he didn’t “want this on Facebook.” He told him it was something he’d been looking for. “Yo, if it’s metal I want it,” Reed wrote back.
“Metal,” Knowles said Reed testified, meant firearms. “Yo, it is bro, it’s the big boys,” Montgomery wrote. “How much?” Reed asked. Montgomery said they could work out something after Reed said he wanted the 12-gauge but didn’t have the cash. Ultimately, Montgomery said, “I’ll take the stick but need $80 cash.” A stick is slang for a finger of heroin.
Montgomery told Reed in the Facebook exchange, that if “somebody else comes here with bread, then I got to take.”
Knowles told the jury that in that conversation, Montgomery put himself with the guns.
On Oct. 7, 2019, Montgomery messaged Reed that “You missed out.” Using code again, he said he got crack, heroin and meth for the guns.
“And who sold crystal meth back then and who had his number and who had that firearm 20 days later?” Knowles asked the jury. “This is a remarkably simple case.”
As for the shotgun, Mike Sullivan testified he bought it from Montgomery, but later traded it back to him for drugs.
After the guns went missing, Kimberly Frain suspected Montgomery took them. He had been at her house the night before her husband discovered the theft. When working one day with Kayla Montgomery at Dunkin’ Donuts, Frain said her neighbors had cameras and police were going to get the footage, which was a lie. Frain, suspicious Adam Montgomery had stolen them, was sounding out Kayla.
Kayla told her husband of the conversation.
Sullivan said one day when he was driving Montgomery home, the subject of the cameras came up. Montgomery, Sullivan testified, told him he knew there weren’t any cameras because if there were he’d be in jail.