Kayla Montgomery makes brief court appearance, bail and probable cause hearing pushed to May 5

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Kayla Montgomery is led into court on April 22 by Hillsborough County Sheriff Deputies. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH – A bail and probable cause hearing for Kayla Montgomery, stepmother to missing 7-year-old Harmony Montgomery, on charges of possessing a stolen rifle was continued until May 5.

Montgomery, 31, appeared briefly on Friday in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District where the hearing was to take place.  Montgomery is charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, a rifle belonging to CF.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill and defense attorney Paul Garrity, however, agreed to continue the case until May 5.

That hearing is to determine bail on all Montgomery’s charges including two counts of receiving stolen property, the rifle, and one count each of theft and welfare fraud alleging she obtained more than $1,500 in food stamps by claiming Harmony was living with her and her husband, Adam Montgomery, when she wasn’t. The couple is now estranged.

None of the charges is related to Harmony’s disappearance.

O’Neill on Friday declined comment.

Garrity told members of the media that prior to the May 5 hearing the state is going to provide the defense with some additional discovery which he will review with his client.

The state made a plea offer on the theft and welfare charges – prior to charging her with the firearm offenses. Garrity said he believes the offer on the table would apply to all the offenses, but he was “not certain and I will have to flush that out with the state.”

He said the “claim against her with respect to the guns is really thin. I think a probable cause hearing will flush that out even more and show these gun charges, in my view, are not supported by probable cause.”

He said the fact the court granted a probable cause hearing “gives some indication that perhaps the court has some questions about it as well but understand I’m not indicating that the judge will go our way but she thought there was a necessity for a probable cause hearing.”

Montgomery is being detained in the Valley Street jail on $5,000 bail on the original theft charges. Garrity said being in jail is never good but that Montgomery appears to be in good spirits.

The original bail order allows for Montgomery to be released to a drug treatment program. Garrity said that order remains in effect, but she has not been successful in finding a treatment facility.

In general, he said welfare charges don’t result in jail time or being held in jail unless “you have an extensive, extensive record.   The judge wanted to give Kayla a way out by setting a condition of being released to a treatment program but that just hasn’t been successful as of this time.”

He would not comment about what Montgomery has told him regarding the disappearance of Harmony.

Harmony disappeared when she was five years old, but authorities did not find that out for more than two years. No one has seen her since late November/December 2019.

The search for Harmony began late in 2021 when police learned that the child hadn’t been seen for more than two years. Kayla told detectives she believed Adam brought Harmony to her mother, Crystal Sorey, 31, in Devens, Mass., the day after Thanksgiving 2019.

She told investigators she hasn’t seen Harmony since.

Adam Montgomery, 32,  is detained in the Valley Street jail.  Police also charged him with eight new felony charges related to the theft of a rifle and gun, weapons also belonging to CF.

He also is charged with being an armed career criminal, which on conviction carries a mandatory 10 to 40 years in state prison.

He has been detained in the Valley Street jail since his arrest on New Year’s Eve 2021 on charges of child endangerment and second-degree assault.  He is accused of blackening Harmony’s eye in the summer of 2019.



About this Author

Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.