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Stepmother of Harmony Montgomery pleads guilty to two counts of perjury

The Boston Globe 11/18/2022 Dugan Arnett
Kayla Montgomery is led into court for proceedings at Hillsborough Superior Court on May 5 in Manchester, N.H. © Charles Krupa Kayla Montgomery is led into court for proceedings at Hillsborough Superior Court on May 5 in Manchester, N.H.

The stepmother of Harmony Montgomery, the young New Hampshire girl whose 2019 disappearance kicked off a massive, multistate search, pleaded guilty in Hillsborough, N.H., Superior Court Friday to two counts of perjury stemming from false statements given in May to a grand jury.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and saying little, Kayla Montgomery listened as Judge Amy Messer handed down two sentences of 3½ to 7 years in the New Hampshire state prison system, with much of that time suspended.

The perjury charges were not directly tied to Harmony Montgomery’s disappearance and death; rather, they stemmed from statements Kayla Montgomery made earlier this year to a grand jury investigating Harmony Montgomery’s disappearance.

As part of the conditions of her sentencing, Kayla Montgomery must “testify truthfully at any hearings/events about any and all pending and future charges against Adam Montgomery,” according to a spokesman for the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.

Kayla Montgomery’s husband, Adam Montgomery, was charged in October with killing Harmony Montgomery, then 5 years old, in December 2019 by repeatedly punching her in the head, authorities allege.

Court records show that it was Adam Montgomery’s wife, Kayla Montgomery, who ultimately told authorities he had killed his daughter, on Dec. 7, 2019, then urged her to lie about the girl’s whereabouts to investigators.

Adam Montgomery also faces charges of “altering, destroying, concealing, or removing” his daughter’s body between Dec. 7, 2019, and March 4, 2020, and for tampering with a witness.

A search for Harmony Montgomery was launched in November 2021, after her biological mother, Crystal Renee Sorey, reported her missing to Manchester police. Adam Montgomery had been previously awarded custody of the child by a Massachusetts juvenile court judge, despite a lengthy and violent criminal history that included a conviction for shooting a man in the head during a drug deal in Haverhill.

The case shined an unflattering light on the child protective service systems in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Earlier this year, officials in both states released separate reports documenting a variety of shortcomings in the handling of the young girl’s custody and care.

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