The estranged wife of a man in New Hampshire testified on Friday that he punched their five-year-old daughter to death. Afterward, he folded the girl’s body into a duffel bag and stuffed it in the trunk of his car, then moved it to a ceiling vent, and finally to a restaurant freezer while he tried to figure out how to dispose of the body, according to the Associated Press.
Kayla Montgomery said that her stepdaughter, Harmony Montgomery, died on December 7, 2019, in a car that the family was living in after they were evicted from their home.
Harmony’s body has still not been recovered by the authorities.
The report mentioned that Kayla’s comments were made during the third day of Adam Montgomery’s murder trial, but he has not been in attendance.
Kayla said Harmony had been potty trained, but she had been experiencing frequent accidents. She went on to say that her husband, Adam, punched the five-year-old in the head after two such accidents in the car. She added that Adam covered Harmony’s body with a blanket as the child cried and moaned and ultimately went silent.
When the family’s car broke down shortly after, Adam allegedly stuffed the girl’s body in a duffel bag.
The Midland Daily News reported that Adam has been charged with second-degree murder, assault, and witness tampering. His lawyers went on to say that he was also guilty of two other charges: abusing a corpse and falsifying evidence. But they concluded that Adam did not kill his daughter and suggested Kayla was lying to the authorities to protect herself.
Public defender James T. Brooks told the jury that “[o]nly she knows the truth,” adding that Kayla was the only one who has “benefitted from all the lies she has told.”
Though Kayla appeared to suggest her husband was solely responsible for Harmony’s death, she told jurors in May 2022 that she did not know what happened to her stepdaughter.
Defense attorney Caroline Smith asked: “So, looking at jurors while you’re lying doesn’t change the lie, right?”
Kayla is currently serving an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to perjury for lying to the grand jury about where she was when Harmony was last seen, according to reports.
After being questioned by Smith, Kayla appeared to admit that she had told at least a dozen other lies during her testimony.
“You said the last time you saw Harmony, she was happy,” Smith said. “You had no problem with lying to the grand jury.”
The authorities did not learn about Harmony’s disappearance until December 2021, two years after she allegedly died. Kayla claimed that she tried to stop her husband from attacking the child, but added that “he gave me this look that was like, evil, his crazy eyes.”
“I was scared,” she said.
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