59-Year Sentence for Man Who Murdered His 5-Year-Old Daughter

The girl’s former foster mother described her as a generous child who shared everything with other children.
59-Year Sentence for Man Who Murdered His 5-Year-Old Daughter
A picture of Harmony Montgomery before she went missing in 2019. (Courtesy of Justice For Harmony)
Alice Giordano
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A New Hampshire man convicted in the beating death of his 5-year-old daughter has been sentenced to 59 years to life in prison.

It was the latest development in the high-profile murder case of Harmony Montgomery. Police say the girl had been dead for two years by the time she was reported missing in late 2021.

Her father, Adam Montgomery, was convicted of her murder in February 2024.

Trial testimony revealed that Mr. Montgomery, now 34, beat his daughter to death while she was strapped into her car seat after she accidentally urinated in the car.

A family court judge had awarded Mr. Montgomery full custody of Harmony, despite the fact that he was a known transient and had a violent criminal history spanning 15 years.

The crimes included holding a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint, shooting a man in the face, and terrorizing a woman during a home invasion, according to Judge Amy Messer at the May 9 sentencing hearing.

Harmony’s mother, Crystal Sorey, was dealing with drug addiction when the state placed the little girl in foster care. Ms. Sorey later underwent treatment and became sober.

In another revelation learned early on in the case, the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families, charged with monitoring the girl’s wellbeing as part of the court’s custody award, admitted it could not account for Harmony’s whereabouts for two years.

Ms. Sorey reported her daughter missing in 2021 after not being able to reach her for scheduled calls.

At Mr. Montgomery’s sentencing on May 9, Ms. Sorey called him a “monster” and a “coward” who was supposed to protect his daughter, but instead threw her away like trash.

“Harmony wasn’t anything to you but property that you could throw away,” said Ms. Sorey in her victim impact statement.

Michelle Raftery, who had fostered Harmony for a time with her husband before Mr. Montgomery was given full custody, fought back tears as she recalled her memories of Harmony as a little girl with a big smile who loved to go church and was always quick to share with other children, “even her Oreo cookies and favorite doll stroller.”

She said her own children adored Harmony. “She had a large community that she loved and they loved her,” said Ms. Raftery in a victim impact statement.

Before Mr. Montgomery was sentenced, Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati offered to recommend a reduced sentence if Mr. Montgomery would reveal where he left the equipment bag he is believed to have last used to store the remains of his daughter.

Mr. Montgomery’s defense attorney Caroline Smith called the state’s offer a “stunt” and asserted that her client “maintains his innocence.”

During the trial, his attorneys admitted he did “horrible things” to his daughter’s body after her death, but they maintain it was his wife and Harmony’s stepmother, Kayla Montgomery, who last saw the girl alive.

According to testimony from Ms. Montgomery during Mr. Montgomery’s murder trial, she and her biological children lived with Harmony and her father in a car.

Mr. Montgomery’s uncle, as well as others, testified that Mr. Montgomery bragged that he “bashed [Harmony] around” and once hit her so hard he left her with “a raccoon’s eye” and disfigured her face.

On a winter day in December 2019, Ms. Montgomery said, he delivered the blows that ended his daughter’s life.

He repeatedly hit Harmony in their car in front of a drug clinic before driving to a Burger King, Ms. Montgomery said, continuing to beat her on the drive. He then threw a blanket over his daughter. She died soon after.

She also described how he kept his daughter’s remains in various containers, including a handheld cooler, before placing them in a tan CMC-branded equipment bag.

His co-workers testified that at times, they saw Mr. Montgomery store the bag in a food freezer at a pizza restaurant in Manchester where he worked.

In handing down her sentence, Judge Amy Messer told Mr. Montgomery he had caused unimaginable pain.

“You took a human life and you did so in the most callous and heartless of ways,” she said. “You robbed a 5-year-old girl, your own daughter, of a life she was to lead.”

The judge sentenced Mr. Montgomery to 45 years for second-degree murder, plus 3 1/2 years for falsifying physical evidence, another 3 1/2 years for tampering with a witness, one year for abuse of a corpse, and four years for second-degree assault, all to be served consecutively.

Mr. Montgomery showed no emotion during the sentencing. The only time he spoke was when he responded “nope” when Judge Messer asked him if he had any questions about his sentencing.

Alice Giordano is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times. She is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England bureau of The New York Times.