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Wife of man accused of killing 5-year-old daughter says she still cares about him

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The ex-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 cared about him despite the horrors she said she witnessed.

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

As the trial opened in Manchester last week, defense lawyers admitted that Adam Montgomery was guilty of tampering with evidence and abusing a corpse. But they said he did not kill Harmony and instead suggested the girl died Dec. 6 while alone with her stepmother, Kayla.

“This attack never happened, did it? Attorney Caroline Smith said after Kayla Montgomery testified again that her husband hit Harmony several times in the head because the girl wet herself.

“Yes, it is,” Kayla said. 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 replied.

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

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

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

Knowles then showed her a large photo of her own face, bruised from the injuries she allegedly inflicted on Montgomery, and asked her why she stayed with him.

“I was scared and still cared about him,” she said, giving a similar response when Knowles showed her a large picture of Harmony and asked, “Why stay with someone who did What did he do 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 granted immunity, but acknowledged to Smith that she had not faced further consequences for inconsistencies in her various statements to police or prosecutors.

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

Adam Montgomery did not attend his trial. He was convicted last year in an unrelated gun theft case and sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.

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