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‘Evil’: Kayla Montgomery takes stand in trial of estranged husband accused of killing young daughter

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Kayla Montgomery broke down crying on Friday morning and shared gruesome testimony during the murder trial for her estranged husband, Adam Montgomery, who is accused of brutally killing his 5-year-old daughter, Harmony, in 2019.

(Note: This trial and report contains graphic court testimony about violence which may be too intense for some readers and viewers.)

For the third day in a row, Adam Montgomery on Friday was absent from the courtroom for his trial.

Kayla Montgomery, 33, who has a plea deal with the state and who has previously identified her estranged husband as Harmony’s killer, offered gruesome testimony as a key star witness in the trial, saying that her husband violently punched the girl when he flew into a rage on Dec. 7, 2019, shortly before they noticed her lifeless body.

Adam Montgomery later folded the girl’s body into a duffel bag, and he spent the next few weeks moving Harmony’s decaying body by hiding it in a restaurant freezer, in the ceiling of a shelter, in an apartment refrigerator, Kayla Montgomery said. In their apartment, she testified, Adam spent hours dismembering the child’s body so it could fit in a small bag.

“It was evil,” Kayla Montgomery said in describing Adam Montgomery’s “crazy eyes” look and demeanor towards his young daughter on the day Harmony died.

Days after the girl’s death, in perhaps the most gruesome account of her testimony, Kayla Montgomery admitted to assisting Adam Montgomery as he cut the clothes off of Harmony’s decaying corpse and showered hot water on the girl’s corpse, in an attempt to speed decomposition by using lime.

“I saw her in the bathtub still folded together, the same way that she was left in the bag when (he) got her out of the car,” Kayla Montgomery testified. “She just looked like she had just barely any skin, she was just layers of skin and bone and she was all bruised up.”

Adam “had the hot water running in the shower, in the bathroom” of an apartment on Union Street, Kayla Montgomery said.

He then “was cutting the clothes off of her and just dethawing her” by pouring hot water over the girl’s corpse in the bathtub, she said.

When Adam asked her to help him, Kayla said she obeyed him. She said that Adam Montgomery beat her, too.

“I was scared. I helped him take the clothes off of her,” said Kayla Montgomery, who has been in prison for more than a year for lying about what happened to Harmony.

Adam Montgomery then put the girl’s corpse into a bag of lime, she testified.

When asked by a prosecutor in court three questions, “Did you kill Harmony? Did you beat her to death? Were you alone with her when she died?” Kayla replied to each question, “No.”

When asked by a prosecutor whether she folded Harmony’s corpse in half, or whether she put the girl’s corpse in the ceiling, Kayla Montgomery replied, “No.”

She then identified Adam Montgomery as the man who killed Harmony, and as the man who also moved the child’s corpse.

Kayla Montgomery earlier recounted the moments that led up to Harmony’s death on Dec. 7, 2019, when she witnessed Adam violently punch the girl, and a conversation she had with him around the time the girl became unresponsive in their car.

“He said he thinks that he really hurt her, and that he felt something,” Kayla Montgomery said while breaking down in tears on the witness stand.

The couple later “got drugs and got high” for several minutes in a local parking lot, she said.

Their car later died, and while Adam was trying to get the vehicle jump started, they noticed Harmony’s lifeless body.

“Harmony had passed away,” Kayla Montgomery said.

Adam Montgomery “was trying to wake the girl up and she didn’t reply or anything,” she said. “He said ‘Harmony.’ He kept saying, ‘Baby girl.’ He kept trying to budge her and there was nothing.”

Adam Montgomery then put his dead daughter in a duffle bag, Kayla Montgomery said while crying on the witness stand.

“He folded her in half and put her in the duffle bag,” she said, crying.

Neither Adam nor Kayla called 911 to report the girl had died, she said.

“I was scared,” she testified. “That something would happen to me or Adam and the kids.”

She said post-mortem she noticed that Harmony’s face “was all black and blue. Her face was puffy, her eyes were puffy.” Adam Montgomery later put the girl’s dead body in a cooler, and then eventually, in the vent of the ceiling of a local shelter they were staying in, she testified.

Later, she testified in describing Harmony’s decomposing body, “You could smell a horrible smell that were coming through the vents.”

“She was starting to smell and there was fluid leaking,” Kayla Montgomery said as she recounted a conversation with her husband at the time.

“He said that there was blood up in the ceiling and fluid,” Kayla Montgomery said.

Adam Montgomery later “asked me to bring the bag to his job” at Portland Pie in Manchester, she testified.

She also testified that later on, Adam Montgomery used ammonia to clean up their bathroom.

“It wouldn’t show evidence of any blood or fluids... so that he wouldn’t get in trouble and that nobody could find anything,” Kayla Montgomery said in testifying about a conversation she had with her husband at the time.

Adam Montgomery also discussed dismembering his daughter’s body, and using lime to “help her body decay,” Kayla Montgomery testified in court.

“He said that he wanted to use a hand saw or a Nutribullet,” Kayla Montgomery said.

Regarding the Nutribullet blender, “He said that it would be good to use, it would help get rid of her,” Kayla Montgomery testified.

Kayla Montgomery testified about the repeated physical abuse of Harmony that she said she witnessed from Adam Montgomery towards his daughter prior to her death.

“When he would hit her, she started getting black eyes and bruises on her face, on her legs,” Kayla Montgomery said.

Kayla Montgomery said Adam Montgomery would “smack” young Harmony repeatedly whenever the girl had a bathroom accident.

“He would smack her on the face, or on her leg, or on her hand,” Kayla Montgomery testified. “They were hurt, stung smacks. She would cry whenever she got smacked by him.”

In another incident, “Adam kept repetitively punching her in the head,” she said.

“He was yelling and screaming at her and punching her in the head,” Kayla Montgomery said, adding that Harmony “was crying.”

During cross-examination, Adam Montgomery’s attorney wasted no time attacking Kayla Montgomery’s credibility, pointing out that before she got a deal with prosecutors, she lied more than twice to a grand jury.

Later, under more questioning about her plea deal, Kayla Montgomery, who was on the stand the entire day Friday, cut short the court session, saying she has a migraine. She is due back on the stand on Monday.

During opening statements on Thursday, Adam Montgomery’s defense team denied Adam was at fault for his daughter’s death, claiming Kayla was the one responsible and has lied to protect herself.

“Adam Montgomery did not cause Harmony’s death. Kayla Montgomery was the last person to see Harmony alive,” defense attorney James Brooks argued Thursday.

Adam Montgomery told a judge via Zoom on Wednesday that he intends to plead guilty to charges of abuse of a corpse and falsifying evidence in the death of Harmony.

He is charged with second-degree murder and assault in connection with the death of Harmony, and witness tampering.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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