After delivering a fatal blow to Harmony Montgomery’s head out of anger over a bathroom accident in the car, Adam Montgomery ate his Burger King while his 5-year-old daughter moaned and made gurgling sounds in the back seat, prosecutors said Thursday. Then the 34-year-old father is said to have begun driving again before pulling over into a parking lot and doing drugs for 20 minutes.
“He ate his food, did his drugs and Harmony slowly died,” prosecutor Christopher Knowles told Hillsborough County Superior Court jurors about the December 2019 murder during opening statements.
When Montgomery finally realized that he had murdered his daughter, prosecutors said, he allegedly grabbed a duffle bag from his trunk and shoved his daughter’s body inside—starting his months-long journey of transporting Harmony from various places before he eventually dumped her body in March 2020. Prosecutors say that Harmony was not reported missing until December 2021, launching an investigation that revealed a pattern of alleged abuse.
Harmony’s body has never been found.
“She went from [being] a girl who radiated happiness, to a scared girl, and from there she went to be the dead girl rotting in the bag,” Knowles said. “And then she went to be the dead girl rotting in the ceiling, a ceiling the defendant slept under for months.”
Montgomery was not present in court Thursday, marking the second day he has not attended his murder trial. He has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including second-degree murder, in connection with Harmony’s Dec. 7, 2019 death. On Wednesday, Montgomery told a judge he will admit to two charges, abuse of a corpse and falsifying physical evidence.
Despite the harrowing allegations against Montgomery, he has maintained his innocence in the murder, noting at his August sentencing in a separate firearms case that he did not kill Harmony. “And I look forward to my upcoming trial to refuse those offensive claims,” he said before he was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison.
Defense lawyers on Thursday insisted that while Montgomery should be convicted of his efforts to conceal and dispose of Harmony’s body, the father is not responsible for the child’s “tragic and senseless” death. Public defender James T. Brooks instead pinned the blame on Montgomery’s estranged wife, Kayla, who was inside the car during the murder and is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution.
“Only she knows the truth. And only she has benefited from all the lies she has told,” Brooks said.
Prosecutors, however, detailed to jurors how evidence will reveal that after Montgomery killed his daughter, he moved her body to multiple locations, including a restaurant fridge, a ceiling vent, a family homeless shelter, and even a cooler. Then he allegedly “butchered her body” and “disposed of her like yesterday’s trash,” prosecutors allege.
To dispose of her remains, prosecutors say, Montgomery compressed Harmony’s body and added lime to accelerate the decomposition process. “Harmony, at that point, was skin and bones,” Knowles said.
Prosecutors say that Montgomery had a friend rent a U-Haul, which he then allegedly used to move his daughter’s remains in the middle of the night. MassDOT records show the U-Haul captured on video crossing the Tobin Bridge in Boston at around 4:44 a.m. and returning about an hour later.
“He told Kayla that he was not going to tell her where he was going to dump Harmony,” Knowles said. “He was in control, he had all the pieces.”
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