Adam Montgomery’s Deep Hatred for Harmony Presented at End of State’s Case

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Adam Montgomery and his lawyers Caroline Smith and James Brooks watch as potential jurors enter the courtroom for jury selection ahead of his murder trial at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, N.H, on Feb. 6, 2024. He hasn't attended the trial in person since. He is accused of killing his five-year-old daughter, Harmony. David Lane/UNION LEADER POOL


Adam Montgomery hated his daughter Harmony, 5, telling his friend Rebecca Maines the hate stemmed from the fact the little girl reminded him of her mother.

“He said he hated her, ‘right to his core,’” Maines testified Tuesday.

Maines took the stand during the morning session as Adam Montgomery’s murder trial started its third, and likely final, week in Hillsborough Superior Court North in Manchester.

Adam Montgomery is charged with killing 5-year-old Harmony on Dec. 7 of 2019, and then keeping her body in a bag for months before he finally threw her away in March of 2020. Harmony has never been found.

Maines, a former nurse who has battled a heroin addiction, met Adam Montgomery in 2021 when they both were part of the same sober community. She considered Adam Montgomery one of her best friends, Maines testified.

During their friendship, Adam Montgomery told Maines about his daughter Harmony, who he claimed was living with her biological mother Crystal Sorey. Maines, like most people around Adam Montgomery at the time, did not know Harmony was already dead.

Adam Montgomery told Maines that Sorey refused to let him see Harmony despite his attempts, and that he hated the child he was not allowed to see. Adam Montgomery told Maines he once caught Harmony trying to suffocate her infant step-brother, resulting in a “back hand” from Adam Montgomery. He also told Maines Harmony’s frequent bathroom accidents were intentional. 

Defense attorney Jamie Brooks tried to discredit Maines in front of the jury by reading from her extensive criminal record. Maines is currently serving a prison sentence for a parole violation. She’s been convicted of theft and credit card fraud, and faces pending felony charges in four different courts. Maines did not shy away from her record.

“I was a drug addict,” Maines said. “I’m a criminal, sir.”

Maines testified she’ been clean for 10 months, and plans to continue her sobriety despite her pending cases. When Brooks mentioned she got in trouble for missing court dates, Maines explained that was a situation that could not be helped at the time, as she was unable to get to court for medical reasons.

“I was in treatment, sir,” Maines said.

Prosecutors wrapped up their case Tuesday, presenting a few final witnesses including: Maines; Douglas Small, the grandfather of Adam Montgomery’s girlfriend Kelsey Small; Massachusetts State Police Detective Bryan Hernandez who searched for Harmony’s body in Revere, Massachusetts marshes, and Manchester Police Detective Matthew Larochelle who followed leads when police still hoped Harmony was alive.

Adam Montgomery was again absent from the court on Tuesday and has the option to again skip court tomorrow when his defense lawyers take over. Despite his refusal to be in court, jurors did hear Adam Montgomery’s voice.

Larochelle identified Adam Montgomery’s voice in a jailhouse call recorded after his 2022 arrest. In the call, Adam Montgomery complains to a friend about the investigation and the searches for Harmony. He dismissed police efforts when discussing a police search of a river area based on a tip from someone who claimed to have heard Harmony was buried there from another person who knew Adam Montgomery.

“They wasted their time,” Adam Montgomery said.

Prosecutors say Adam Montgomery took Harmony’s body and threw her away in March of 2020. Toll records linked to the UHaul truck he drove show Adam Montgomery went to the Revere, Massachusetts area during that trip. Hernandez pointed to the beaches and marshes searched by Massachusetts officers.

If the defense does not bring any evidence to jurors tomorrow, the case will move directly to closing arguments and deliberations. Defense attorney Caroline Smith made motions to get the second-degree murder and the assault charges dismissed once the state completed its case.

According to Smith, there are no credible eyewitnesses to Harmony’s murder, or to the assault Adam Montgomery allegedly committed against the child months previously.

 Kayla Montgomery is the only witness to the murder, and she is a convicted perjurer, Smith told Judge Amy Messer.

“Her story itself went through various iterations,” Smith said. “Quite frankly, I think they were pretty ludicrous.”

As for the incident in July of 2019 when Harmony was given a severe black eye by Adam Montgomery, Smith noted that Demetrios Tsaros, the Division for Children, Youth and Families investigator, did not find evidence the girl had been abused.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati told Messer that Tsaros did not see the girl for almost 10 days after getting the report of abuse. As for Kayla Montgomery’s testimony, Agati said her story is backed by copious corroborating witnesses and physical evidence.

Messer denied the motions to dismiss, and ordered the trial to resume Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Damien Fisher is a veteran New Hampshire reporter who lives in the Monadnock region with his wife, writer Simcha Fisher, their many children, as well as their dog, cat, parakeet, ducks, and seamonkeys. 

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