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NH judge allows Harmony Montgomery’s stepmother to be released from jail, new bail conditions set

Kayla Montgomery was led into court for proceedings at Hillsborough Superior Court.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

A New Hampshire judge Friday granted bail to the stepmother of Harmony Montgomery, a 7-year-old child who disappeared in 2019, but imposed some strict conditions, including daily check-ins with police.

Kayla Montgomery, 31, was in the process of being released Friday night, according to a Hillsborough County Department of Corrections spokesman.

The order issued Friday by Judge Amy B. Messer followed a bail hearing Thursday in Hillsborough Superior Court — North.

Montgomery had been in jail since she was arrested in early January on charges of theft, welfare fraud, and receiving guns her estranged husband allegedly stole. Her husband Adam Montgomery, 32, who was charged with assaulting Harmony, was also charged in the gun case and has been held as well.

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Both Kayla and Adam Montgomery have pleaded not guilty to the gun charges.

In her ruling, Messer cited Kayla Montgomery’s “limited criminal history” and familial ties in the state.

She ordered that Kayla Montgomery be released on a $5,000 unsecured appearance bond, which means she doesn’t pay right away but must make a written promise to appear in court on her court date. Montgomery will also be required to physically check in at the Manchester Police Department every day and continue with substance abuse treatment.

“The defendant has a limited criminal history and has no history of failing to appear for any court appearance,” Messer wrote in her order Friday. “Her contacts in the state are significant. The defendant is a nearly lifelong resident of New Hampshire and her children and extended family members are here. The defendant has also been participating in medically assisted treatment for substance use disorder while at the jail and intends to continue in treatment if released.”

Prosecutors argued that her bail should continue to be $5,000 cash, saying she was at risk of leaving the state, but the judge disagreed.

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The judge also ordered Kayla Montgomery not to travel outside of New Hampshire and to have no contact with Adam Montgomery either directly or indirectly through a third party.

Montgomery had recently attempted to break the pre-trial condition during a recorded jail call with her father in law, when she asked him to relay a message to Adam, according to Assistant District Attorney Jesse O’Neill.

Prosecutors revealed the conversation during a Thursday bail hearing, which followed the release of a report on Harmony’s case from the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate. The report documented a litany of failures by the Department of Children and Families and the juvenile court to safeguard the child.

When Harmony was born in 2014 in Massachusetts, Adam Montgomery was incarcerated, awaiting trial on charges that he shot a man in the head during a drug deal in Haverhill. He first met his daughter when she was 6 months old and was brought to the prison for a supervised visit, the report said. Harmony’s mother and Montgomery were never married and were no longer a couple when Harmony was born.

The child was declared missing in December, more than two years after she was last seen in the custody of Montgomery in Manchester, N.H.

Investigators continue to search for the Harmony, now 7. There is a $150,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.

Travis Andersen of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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Samantha J. Gross can be reached at samantha.gross@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthajgross.