Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife laid out her demands to “betray” him in a prison letter to prosecutors that his defence attorneys introduced during his New Hampshire trial.
Kayla Montgomery, the prosecution’s key witness, took the stand on Friday to testify about the way her husband allegedly murdered his five-year-old daughter Harmony in December 2019. Kayla, Harmony’s stepmother, is serving an 18-month prison sentence on perjury charges for lying to police about Harmony’s whereabouts.
According to prosecutors, Montgomery fatally hit his daughter in the head after she soiled herself while in the car Harmony, Kayla, and the couple’s two infant sons lived out of. The little girl’s death went unreported for two years until authorities in Manchester launched an investigation in 2021 following desperate attempts by Harmony’s mother to get in touch with her.
Harmony’s remains were relocated several times — first stored in a cooler at the home of Kayla’s mother, later to a ceiling vent at a shelter the family lived in and even taken to Montgomery’s workplace — before Montgomery made efforts to destroy the body and dispose of it in March 2021.
Refuting Kayla’s version of the events leading up to Harmony’s death, the defence has alleged that the minor actually died under her stepmother’s care and that Montgomery only went along with plans to dispose of the body to “protect” Kayla and their two infant sons. On Friday, defence attorney Caroline Smith introduced a note Kayla wrote while in prison in 2022 following an arrest on theft charges for collecting welfare benefits for Harmony.
Ms Smith read the letter out loud, including excerpts in which Kayla wrote that she wanted immunity and custody of her children if she was going to come forward to authorities with information about Harmony’s murder. Among other demands, Kayla also wrote that she wanted to see Montgomery “one last time, kiss him, and maybe make love to him,” Ms Smith said — casting doubt on the prosecution’s argument that Kayla initially lied to officials because she was being threatened by Montgomery.
“What you didn’t write was protection from Adam, what you didn’t write was that you were afraid of Adam,” Ms Smith asked. “You just wanted to be with him before you, as you put it, betray him, right?”
“I wasn’t thinking about that .... yes,” Kayla answered.
Ms Smith also confronted Kayla about the lies she told a grand jury last year, which ultimately led to perjury charges she was convicted on. At the time, Kayla had maintained that she last saw Harmony shortly before Thanksgiving when Montgomery reportedly dropped her off at the home of the child’s mother.
“You talked to the jury with a straight face about what she was wearing,” Ms Smith said. “Even though the Star Wars hoodie [you saw her wearing] was what you cut off her body in the shower at Union Square Avenue.”
Kayla claimed that she was terrified Montgomery would hurt her or their children and that she also did not want to lose custody of them. Elsewhere in her testimony, she described in grim detail the harrowing ways that Montgomery used to destroy his daughter’s body.
Montgomery, who only attended jury selection on Tuesday but has waived his right to appear at his trial, faces one count of second-degree murder in Harmony’s killing. Earlier this week, he said that he intended to plead guilty to charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying information.
His trial resumes on Monday.