The first of what could be several trials facing Adam Montgomery is now set to start in a Manchester, N.H., courtroom on May 31 — but it won’t be in the case of his 5-year-old daughter Harmony’s death.
Montgomery, who has been previously convicted of violent crimes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, charged with stealing a rifle and shotgun between Sept. 29, 2019 and Oct. 3, 2019. As a convicted felon, Montgomery is not legally allowed to possess a firearm, according to prosecutors.
Montgomery, 33, did not attend a final pretrial conference held Tuesday in Hillsborough Superior Court-North, where Superior Court Judge Amy B. Messer said she expects the trial to last five to seven days and that she hoped to pick a jury in a single day.
Montgomery is expected to be tried in December on charges of second-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, falsifying evidence, and witness tampering in connection with the death of Harmony around Dec. 7, 2019.
Adam Montgomery has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and is being held without bail.
Harmony Montgomery’s death exposed failures in New Hampshire and Massachusetts to put the child’s well-being at the center of custody decisions. Crystal Sorey, the child’s mother, struggled with substance abuse disorder and the child was in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
In 2019, Massachusetts Juvenile Court Judge Mark Newman awarded Adam Montgomery custody even though he had been convicted of violent crimes, including shooting a man in the head in Haverhill in 2014. He was then living in New Hampshire.
Harmony Montgomery’s body has not been found. The defense has asked permission to question witnesses in the gun case about the investigation into the girl’s whereabouts. Prosecutors oppose the request, writing they had agreed not to raise the issue in the firearms case, court records show.
Adam Montgomery’s wife, Kayla Montgomery, is scheduled to testify against her husband after pleading guilty to perjury charges last year, according to court records.
In court papers, Adam Montgomery has invoked spousal privilege and his lawyers have asked Messer to block prosecutors from New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella’s office from sharing their conversations with the jury.
Messer has yet to rule on the request.
The judge rejected a request by WMUR-TV to unseal an affidavit filed by prosecutors in connection with the murder charge. Messer had originally ordered it unsealed, but lawyers argued releasing it so close to this month’s trial could increase the difficulty of finding impartial jurors. The judge then said the paperwork will be sealed until the impending trial is over.