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Verdict reached in Adam Montgomery’s trial over daughter Harmony’s murder

A panel of jurors have reached a verdict in Adam Montgomery’s trial over the murder of his five-year-old daughter.

Montgomery, 34, is standing trial in Manchester, New Hampshire for allegedly beating Harmony Montgomery to death in December 2019. Two weeks and a half into the proceedings and after testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, the prosecution and the defence delivered their closing arguments on Wednesday morning.

The defence rested their case without calling any witnesses, but told jurors to take testimony from Montgomery’s estranged wife Kayla Montgomery with a grain of salt. Attorney Caroline Smith said that, while his client “did horrible things” to conceal Harmony’s body, he did not kill his daughter.

Earlier this week, Judge Amy Messer denied a motion by the defence to toss Kayla’s testimony alleging Montgomery hit Harmony in the head after he became enraged because the little girl had wet herself.

“Adam did some very very bad things but he did not kill his daughter,” Ms Smith told jurors. “Can you put your trust for one of the most important decisions of your life, in Kayla?” Ms Smith asked jurors. “The police know that she is a liar, the state knows that she is a liar. She was charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury.”

Jurors reached a verdict after roughly three hours of deliberation on Wednesday and an additional four on Thursday.

Adam Montgomery pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in 2022 and proclaimed in court last year in an unrelated case that he did not kill his daughter. As his trial got underway in Manchester, his attorneys acknowledged he was guilty of two lesser charges of falsifying evidence and abusing a corpse.

The defence argued, however, that he did not kill Harmony, and instead suggested she actually died while alone with her stepmother.

Montgomery, who is serving a 30-year prison sentence for an unrelated gun conviction, hasn’t been attending his trial.

Montgomery and Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, were not in a relationship when Harmony was born in 2014. The child lived on and off with foster families and with her mother. Ms Sorey lost custody of Harmony in 2018, and Harmony was sent to live with her father in February 2019.

Ms Sorey testified that she last saw her daughter during a FaceTime call around Easter of that year.

Kayla Montgomery has been the star witness against her estranged husband. She is serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to perjury for lying during grand jury testimony about where she was when Harmony was last seen. She was not given immunity, but she acknowledged to defence lawyers that she hasn’t faced further consequences for inconsistencies in her various statements to police or prosecutors.

Kayla testified that her husband repeatedly punched Harmony in the head because the girl had wet herself. She said her family, including the couple’s two young sons, had been evicted and were living in a car at the time. According to Kayla, Adam punched Harmony at several stop lights as they drove from a methadone clinic to a fast food restaurant on the morning of 7 December 2019.

She also testified about handing food to the children without checking on Harmony, the subsequent discovery that the girl was dead, and all the places she said her husband hid the body, including in a ceiling vent at a homeless shelter and the walk-in freezer at her husband’s workplace.