Nov. 18—MANCHESTER — Kayla Montgomery pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury on Friday afternoon and was sentenced to serve a year and a half in state prison.
Montgomery, 32, is stepmother to Harmony Montgomery, the little girl presumed dead after going missing in 2019. In pleading guilty at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester, Montgomery acknowledged that prosecutors could have shown she gave false testimony to a grand jury in May, about the details of when and where she last saw Harmony.
As police and prosecutors struggled this spring to glean new information about Harmony, a grand jury was convened and Montgomery was called to testify.
When Montgomery testified, she said she last saw Harmony when her husband Adam Montgomery — Harmony's father — dropped her off at work for a 6 a.m. shift at a Dunkin' in Goffstown on Nov. 30, 2019, two days after Thanksgiving.
But when Adam Montgomery picked her up from work, she said, only the two children Kayla and Adam Montgomery had together were in the car. Adam Montgomery said Harmony had gone to live with her mother, she said.
Kayla Montgomery had given the same account to Manchester police when she was interviewed on Dec. 28, 2021, just as Manchester police were opening the investigation into Harmony's disappearance.
But investigators later found that while Kayla Montgomery had worked at a Goffstown Dunkin' through September 2019, in November 2019 she was working at a Hooksett location and her last day there had been Nov. 23, 2019.
Before Judge Amy Messer entered the courtroom to go through the plea agreement, Kayla Montgomery was led into the courtroom, her long hair loose, her small frame swallowed in the orange jail uniform. She fidgeted in her chair waiting for the judge, looking at the reporters assembled in the courtroom as cameras clicked.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury. Other charges, including a charge that she had collected welfare for Harmony after the little girl was no longer living with the family, were dropped.
The official sentence for perjury is between 3 1/2 and 7 years in the New Hampshire State Prison, but Montgomery will receive time-served credit for the months she has spent in jail waiting for her trial, and other credits that mean she will end up serving about a year and a half in prison.
"She recognized the situation she was in," said Montgomery's defense attorney, Paul Garrity, speaking to reporters as a crush of television cameras pressed him against a mural in the courthouse hallway.
"She's glad to put this part of the case behind her."
Garrity declined to discuss what Montgomery's role will be in the trial of Adam Montgomery, only saying that her plea agreement will require her to cooperate with prosecutors in her estranged husband's case.
Garrity said it was not yet clear to him if the date when Kayla Montgomery said she was working and which Dunkin' location she worked at when she last saw Harmony were material in the case of the girl's disappearance and death.