Court documents: Months ago, Harmony’s step-mom told police the child’s dad killed her

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Kayla Montgomery in court on Sept. 13, 2022. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH – Kayla Montgomery, facing new charges of lying to a grand jury investigating the disappearance of her 5-year-old stepdaughter, told investigators on June 3, the day she was indicted, that her husband killed Harmony, according to court filings.

On Monday, police charged Adam Montgomery, 29, with second-degree murder accusing him of repeatedly punching his daughter in the head on Dec. 7, 2019, killing her.  He also is accused of falsifying physical evidence and abuse of corpse, between Dec. 7, 2019 and March 4, 2020, for “altering, destroying, concealing or removing Harmony’s body to impair its availability in an official investigation.

He also is charged with witness tampering for attempting to cause Kayla to lie between Dec. 7, 2019 and Jan. 4, 2022.

The same day prosecutors announced the murder charge against Adam Montgomery, Senior Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill filed documents in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District that said Kayla told detectives her husband killed Harmony.

The information is contained in a motion O’Neill filed in the criminal case charging Adam Montgomery with being an armed career criminal, felon in possession, theft and receiving stolen property, related to two stolen guns.

In that motion, O’Neill said police were interviewing Kayla about the stolen weapons.  He wrote that Kayla told investigators she had lied to them about the guns and then told them Adam murdered Harmony in December 2019, a time when the family, which included Harmony and Kayla’s two other children, was living out of their car.

 She also told investigators that Adam encouraged her on multiple occasions to lie to police about Harmony’s whereabouts, basically giving Kayla a “cover story” and telling her that as long as she stuck to the cover story everything would be OK.

Kayla was also indicted on gun charges involving the same weapons and was listed by prosecutors as a witness in her husband’s case.  She also is charged with theft and welfare fraud. A dispositional hearing is set for today, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, in Hillsborough County Superior Court North on those cases.

Adam Montgomery is facing three separate trials on various offenses, including a second-degree assault charge alleging he blackened Harmony’s eye in the summer of 2019. The first trial is slated for the week of Nov. 14 on weapons and armed career criminal charges.

By telling police Adam allegedly killed his daughter, it appears Kayla Montgomery has become a cooperating witness.

 According to the filing, in speaking to detectives Kayla would talk about the stolen guns and then switch and talk about Harmony’s murder.

Police tried to keep the two subjects separate. “However, despite investigators’ efforts, there was significant bleed-over between the topics,” according to the court document.

O’Neill explained in the filing that Kayla’s June 3 interview comingled information relevant to the stolen guns case with information relevant to the ongoing investigation of the whereabouts of Harmony.

“This put the state in the position of either disclosing to the defendant that Kayla had agreed to be interviewed and had told police that he murdered Harmony, or keeping this information confidential.  An important factor in this balance is that Kayla had also told police about the defendant engaging in witness tampering towards her regarding her knowledge of Harmony’s murder,” the prosecutor wrote.

The defense contends that prosecutors, in providing Kayla’s June 3 interview four months later, committed a discovery violation and that the court should take “just” action.

Prosecutors, however, argue the Oct. 7 disclosure was done “with the intent to protect the Harmony Montgomery investigation (and not with the intent to gain an unfair advantage over the defendant).”

They say the only prejudice claimed by the defense is that their trial strategy was already crystallized.  O’Neill said the just result would be to give the defense more time to prepare to confront the new evidence.

“This is especially appropriate where the defendant has known for several months now from the state’s discovery that Kayla was an eyewitness to the defendant’s possession of the stolen firearms,” O’Neill wrote.

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Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.