The New Hampshire father accused of beating his 5-year-old daughter to death and hiding the murder for more than two years appeared in court Tuesday with a smile on his face as jury selection was underway for his trial.
Adam Montgomery pleaded not guilty in 2022 to charges he killed his daughter Harmony Montgomery and spent months moving her body before disposing of it.
He allegedly pummeled the girl in the head with a closed fist on Dec. 7, 2019, according to New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella, “recklessly causing the death of Harmony Montgomery, a person under 13 years of age, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference in the value of human life.”
Jury selection for Adam Montgomery’s murder trial began on Tuesday morning, in a Manchester, New Hampshire courtroom.
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Photos of the court proceeding showed Montgomery being ushered into the room while smiling with his tongue out.
FOX 25 in Boston reported that Judge Amy Messer asked Montgomery before the jury selection process if he wanted to waive his right to wear a leg brace and instead be shackled.
“I was surprised this morning that you preferred not to wear the leg brace, and you wanted to wear the leg shackles,” Messer reportedly said to Montgomery.
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“That’s correct,” the defendant responded.
“The shackles may be evident to the jurors,” Messer said. “Do you understand that?”
Montgomery responded, “I do.”
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The judge and attorneys from both sides spent hours going through 120 potential jurors in order to chop the number down to 27, the station reported. Before opening statements begin on Wednesday, that number should be cut down even further to 12 plus five alternates.
Montgomery is fighting evidence that prosecutors say shows him buying 80 pounds of lime, a diamond-edged blade and a power grinder at two Home Depot stores about a week before he is accused of renting a U-Haul truck and dumping Harmony’s remains in an unknown location outside Boston.
The defense wrote in court filings that there is no evidence that lime is a unique purchase connecting Montgomery to the murder.
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Investigators say the Montgomery family was homeless and living in a car at the time of Harmony’s suspected murder, and after the event, Montgomery allegedly kept his daughter’s remains in a cooler and duffle bag. He then transported them between temporary housing locations and finally disposed of her.
Montgomery’s now estranged wife, Kayla Montgomery, who is Harmony’s stepmother, told police her husband believed the lime would help Harmony’s body decompose without being discovered, prosecutors allege in court documents.
In January of last year, Formella obtained a grand jury indictment on second-degree murder charges.
According to the criminal complaint, Montgomery is suspected of killing the girl with repeated punches to the head.
Kayla Montgomery is also facing charges in connection with the girl’s disappearance, including allegedly lying to a grand jury and collecting welfare payments on the missing girl’s behalf for months after her death.
Harmony’s remains have not been found.
Fox News Digital’s Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.
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