A FATHER accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter had planned to use a handsaw and a blender to dismember her, his estranged wife testified on the stand.
For the third consecutive day, the murder trial of Adam Montgomery, accused of killing his daughter Harmony Montgomery, proceeded on Friday without the accused killer – who has refused to show up to the courtroom.
On Friday, Montgomery’s estranged wife, Kayla, testified against him and revealed harrowing details about Harmony’s final moments.
Kayla, 33, disclosed to the jury how Montgomery, 34, would physically abuse her after he suspected she was talking to investigators about Harmony’s whereabouts.
The stepmom broke down in tears as she described how the “evil” father had a “crazy eyes” look and demeanor toward Harmony on the day he delivered the fatal blows to the 5-year-old’s head and face.
After Harmony died in the backseat of the family’s Chrysler Sebring, Kayla testified how she saw Montgomery take his daughter’s lifeless body, “fold her in half, and squished” her inside a Catholic Medical Center hospital bag.
Read more in The U.S. Sun
Montgomery then squished the bag with his daughter’s body inside a cooler and left it in the hallway of Kayla’s mother’s house.
“I saw him do it, she [Harmony] was in the cooler for a couple of weeks,” an emotional Kayla said on the stand.
After the homeless family moved to a family shelter, Montgomery removed his daughter’s remains from the cooler and placed the bag in the ceiling of the room they were staying in.
The family lived in the shelter for over a month as the body began to decompose.
“You could smell a horrible smell, and it was coming from the vent,” Kayla said, adding that residents began complaining about the odor.
“She (Harmony) was starting to smell, and fluid leaking,” Kayla remembered Montgomery telling her after he brought down the bag from the ceiling vent.
The stepmom added, “Adam said there was blood in the ceiling and fluid.”
‘IT WOULD HELP GET RID OF HER’
The accused killer locked himself in the shelter bathroom, transferring Harmony’s remains from the CMC bag to a large garbage bag and then back inside the tote bag, Kayla testified.
That’s when Montgomery began to think of ways to dispose of and dismember his daughter’s body, his estranged wife said.
“He [Montgomery] said he was going to try and use a saw – he wanted to use a hand saw or NutriBullet (blender). He said it would be good to use, it would help get rid of her (Harmony),” Kayla said.
Prosecutors said Montgomery spent months moving his daughter’s body to various hiding spots, including the family’s new apartment and the restaurant where he worked as a cook and dishwasher.
In perhaps the most gruesome testimony, Kayla admitted to assisting Montgomery as he cut the clothes off his daughter’s decaying corpse in the bathroom of the family’s apartment.
HARMONY MONTGOMERY TIMELINE
February 2019 – Adam Montgomery is granted custody of Harmony after her mother, Crystal Sorey, loses custody because of neglect related to drug use.
Easter 2019 – After getting clean, Sorey said she spoke to Harmony via FaceTime. She said this was the last time she saw her daughter.
October 2019 – After receiving several calls about child abuse, a child protective service worker visits Montgomery’s home and reports the children appeared happy and healthy. The assessment concludes that the report of abuse was unfounded, but the family was at high risk for future child welfare concerns.
November 2019 – Montgomery, Harmony, Kayla, and their two other children, are evicted from their home and begin to live in a Chrysler Sebring
December 7, 2019 – Following multiple bathroom accidents, an irate Montgomery repeatedly strikes Harmony in the head and face with a closed fist, causing her death, investigators said.
December 2021 – New Hampshire police report Harmony missing after Sorey tried to contact her daughter multiple times.
‘SKIN AND BONE’
“I saw her in the bathtub still folded together, the same way that she was left in the bag when [he] got her out of the car,” Kayla said, adding that Montgomery was trying to speed the decomposition of Harmony’s body.
“She just looked like she had just barely any skin. She was just layers of skin and bone, and she was all bruised up.”
Montgomery had “hot water running in the shower, in the bathroom” and was “cutting off her clothes and just dethawing her” by pouring hot water over the girl’s corpse.
When Montgomery asked for help, Kayla said she obeyed him out of fear.
“I was scared. I helped him take the clothes off her,” she said, adding that Montgomery disposed of Harmony’s sweater and leggings.
Kayla said Montgomery filled the tote bag with lime and disposed of it early one morning,
“Where did he dump Harmony’s body?” prosecutors asked Kayla, who replied, “I don’t know.
“When he came back as the sun came up, he no longer had the CMC bag with him.”
Montgomery is currently serving a 30-year sentence on an unrelated weapons charge.
He is facing second-degree murder in Harmony’s killing and could face up to life in prison.
ADAM MONTGOMERY TRIAL
January 2023 – Adam Montgomery is indicted by a grand jury
on a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of Harmony.
August 2023 – Montgomery is sentenced to 30 years on an unrelated weapons charge
February 6, 2024 – Jury selection begins for the murder trial of Montgomery.
February 7, 2024 – Montgomery agrees to plead guilty to two of the lesser charges, falsifying physical evidence and abuse of corpse.
February 8, 2024 – Montgomery refuses to show up to court for the start of opening statements.
February 9, 2024 – Kayla Montgomery testifies against her estranged husband.
Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines