Crime

“I did not kill my daughter Harmony and I look forward to my upcoming trial to refute those offensive claims,” Adam Montgomery said.

Adam Montgomery is led to the defense table for his sentencing hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, N.H. on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023.
Adam Montgomery is led to the defense table for his sentencing hearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, N.H. on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. Paul Feely/Union Leader via AP

A New Hampshire father proclaimed his innocence in the murder of Harmony Montgomery, his 5-year-old daughter who vanished in 2019 after he was awarded custody and is presumed dead.

Adam Montgomery, 33, spoke before being sentenced Monday on unrelated gun charges.

Harmony was reported missing in November 2021, nearly two years after investigators say her father killed her. The body has not been found, but Harmony’s stepmother has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Dressed in an orange prisoner jumpsuit, Montgomery acknowledged that a jury had found him guilty of possessing weapons despite his previous felony convictions. But he asked the judge not to consider his daughter’s murder case when sentencing him.

“I did not kill my daughter Harmony and I look forward to my upcoming trial to refute those offensive claims,” he said, acknowledging that he was an addict and would use his time in prison to “change things about myself”

“I could have had a meaningful life but I blew that opportunity through drugs,” he continued. “I loved my daughter unconditionally and I did not kill her.”

Authorities allege that Montgomery killed his daughter by repeatedly striking her in the head with his fist. He’s scheduled for trial in that case in November. He pleaded not guilty last October to second-degree murder, falsifying physical evidence and abuse of a corpse charges.

After hearing from both sides, Hillsborough Superior Court Judge Amy Messer sentenced Montgomery to at least 30 years in prison and up to 60 years on the charges of being an armed career criminal. He was also sentenced to an additional 7 1/2 to 15 years for receiving stolen property and theft. On each of those sentences, five years can be suspended for good behavior.

Messer said the sentence was appropriate given Montgomery’s history of violent behavior, the role that guns played in his crimes, and the “brazen nature of his conduct.”

“These guns were stolen. There was a child in the house,” she said. “The guns were sold to and bought back from a convicted sex offender, and ultimately one of the guns was discovered in the hands of an individual who is apparently trafficking in both guns and drugs.”

Montgomery’s attorney attempted to persuade the judge that her client’s drug history — and the fact that the sale did not involve a violent crime — should result in lesser sentence.

“We don’t have physical harm to anybody. We don’t have an assault of somebody,” Caroline Smith said. “It was a crime of opportunity. Also, the evidence is that Mr. Montgomery was — he was addict. He was a drug addict. The purpose surrounding this crime, the evidence is that it was either for drugs or money to get drugs.”

The prosecution’s witnesses included Kayla Montgomery, Adam Montgomery’s estranged wife, who testified he told her he took the guns. Kayla Montgomery is serving an 18-month prison sentence. She had pleaded guilty to charges that she lied to a grand jury about where she was working the day she last saw Harmony.

Lawyers for Adam Montgomery said the prosecution’s case relied on lies from other witnesses and that police reached the wrong conclusion.