Adam Montgomery sentenced to 56 years to life in prison

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May 9—Adam Montgomery refused to say where the remains of his daughter Harmony can be found before he was sentenced to a minimum of 56 years to life in prison for brutally murdering the 5-year-old girl in 2019.

Judge Amy Messer sentenced Montgomery on Thursday afternoon, after a jury in February found him guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree assault, falsifying physical evidence, tampering with witnesses and abuse of a corpse.

The sentence calls for 45 years to life for the murder and 11 more years for the other convictions.

The sentence is in addition to the minimum 32-year sentence Montgomery is serving on firearms convictions, meaning the 34-year-old most certainly will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

"Harmony was an innocent 5-year-old girl," Messer said. "You treated her in the worst of possible ways in both her life and death."

Prosecutor Benjamin Agati offered to reduce his recommended sentence by 10 years if information from Montgomery led to the little girl's remains being recovered within seven days.

The courtroom was packed with family, friends and law enforcement. A Manchester woman, Sharon Otte, passed around a box with purple ribbons to wear in memory of Harmony. The back row was filled with some of the jurors from the three-week trial.

The courtroom remained silent as Agati waited for Montgomery to respond to his offer. Agati reiterated that it was not a stunt and went on to call Montgomery heartless, immoral, selfish and unapologetic in refusing to reveal Harmony's whereabouts for the past five years.

Montgomery made no reply.

"There is nothing directly in this case that this court can do for Harmony," Agati said. "She's already ultimately paid the price of the defendant's anger, cruelty and frustration. But what can be done is recognize the value of her life."

Montgomery went to great lengths to cover up his crimes, including threatening and beating his wife, Kayla, and had a lengthy criminal record, the prosecutor said.

Montgomery was unable to show his remorse in court because he maintains his innocence, public defender Caroline Smith said.

"The state was doing a stunt," Smith said. "They were seeking a reaction today from Adam Montgomery in the courtroom by their stunt."

Messer rejected a request by Montgomery to be excused from the hearing after not appearing for the entirety of his trial. He walked into the courtroom handcuffed and shackled wearing a white T-shirt and yellow prison pants.

Harmony's mother, Crystal Sorey, wept and held her head up to the ceiling during the few seconds Agati waited for Montgomery to reply.

Sorey lost custody of the little girl as she struggled with substance abuse, but spoke of how Harmony lit up the room when she walked in and was a great sister to her brother, Jamison.

"She had a life worth living, unlike you," Sorey told Montgomery as she began her victim-impact statement, her hands shaking as she read. "I wish you nothing but pain and misery for the rest of your pathetic life. And with or without you, we are going to find her."

Montgomery, who gained custody of Harmony in 2019, was charged with Harmony's murder in October 2022 after police began searching for her, after a desperate plea by Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg on New Year's Eve 2021 for any information on the girl's whereabouts.

Kayla Montgomery revealed to police that Montgomery beat Harmony to death on Dec. 7, 2019, in the family's Chrysler Sebring after Harmony had a bathroom accident. The family of five was living out of the vehicle after being evicted from their home on Gilford Street.

The little girl's remains were toted around in a duffel bag and placed in the ceiling of the family shelter and the freezer of the now-closed Portland Pie Co., before Montgomery drove a U-Haul into Massachusetts to dump her body.

Smith, along with public defender James Brooks, pointed the finger at Montgomery's then-wife, Kayla. They said Adam was not present when Harmony died. The public defenders, however, did not call any witnesses.

After the sentencing, Agati said the search for Harmony continues. Another search recently was conducted in Massachusetts.

After spending a year and a half in prison for perjury, Kayla Montgomery has earned parole for working with investigators on the murder case and testifying against her estranged husband.

Michelle Raftery, who was Harmony's foster mother in Massachusetts, said the family would joke that Harmony always left a sparkle wherever she went.

"Harmony always had two mommies, me and Crystal, but only had one daddy and that was my husband Tim," she said. "I am beyond grateful Harmony had the relationship with a loving daddy and knew what that relationship should look like."

She said Harmony would have been welcomed back into their home.

"Our family is strong and beginning to heal by the grace of God," Raftery said. "We know Harmony is safe in the arms of Jesus never to be hurt again. So despite the evil brought to light in this trial we will continue to move forward in love, because love wins."