The wife of a man charged with killing his 5-year-old daughter says she still cares about him | World News - Hindustan Times

The wife of a man charged with killing his 5-year-old daughter says she still cares about him

AP |
Feb 13, 2024 10:18 AM IST

The wife of a man charged with killing his 5-year-old daughter says she still cares about him

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The estranged wife of a New Hampshire man accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter and hiding the child's body for months testified Monday that she still cares about him despite the horrors she said she witnessed.

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Kayla Montgomery has been the star witness against her husband, Adam, who is facing second-degree murder and other charges in the death of his daughter, Harmony. Authorities believe the girl was killed on Dec. 7, 2019, but that she wasn’t reported missing for nearly two years after that. The girl's body has not been found.

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As the trial got underway in Manchester last week, defense attorneys acknowledged Adam Montgomery is guilty of falsifying evidence and abusing a corpse. But they said he did not kill Harmony and have instead suggested the girl actually died on Dec. 6 while alone with her stepmother, Kayla.

“That assault never happened, did it?” Attorney Caroline Smith said after Kayla Montgomery again testified that her husband repeatedly punched Harmony in the head because the girl had wet herself.

“Yes, it did,” said Kayla. She also denied the defense team's theory when prosecutor Christopher Knowles directly asked her, “Did Harmony die in the middle of the night alone with you when the defendant wasn’t even there?” “No,” she answered.

The family, including the couple’s two young boys, had been evicted and were living in a car at the time. According to Kayla, Adam punched Harmony at several stop lights as they drove from a methadone clinic to a fast food restaurant the morning of Dec. 7.

She showed little emotion Monday, answering questions about handing food to the children without checking on Harmony, the subsequent discovery that the girl was dead and all the places she said the body was hid, including a homeless center ceiling vent and the walk-in freezer at her husband’s workplace. But she later cried and wiped her face with tissues when asked whether she still loves Adam.

“I still care about him because he’s the father of my children,” she said. “He was my best friend. It’s been hard for me to just let go.”

Knowles then showed her a large photograph of her own faced, bruised with injuries she said Montgomery had inflicted and asked why she stayed with him.

“I was scared, and I still cared about him,” she said, giving a similar answer when Knowles showed her a large image of Harmony and asked, “Why stay with someone who did what he did to a helpless girl like this?”

Kayla Montgomery is serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to perjury for lying during grand jury testimony about where she was when Harmony was last seen. She was not given immunity, but acknowledged to Smith that she hasn’t faced further consequences for inconsistencies in her various statements to police or prosecutors.

“By that agreement, you were supposed to only tell the truth, and your story changed a lot,” said Smith, suggesting Kayla has continued to lie to protect herself. “And at the grand jury, you were always supposed to tell the truth, and you lied.”

Adam Montgomery has not been attending his trial. He was convicted last year in an unrelated case involving gun theft and was sentenced to over 30 years in prison.

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