Plea deal talks on robbery charge for missing daughter’s stepmother

CONCORD, NH (AP) — A plea offer and counter offer were recently discussed for the stepmother of a missing New Hampshire girl, who is accused of lying to authorities that the child was living with her in order to collect food stamp benefits, attorneys said in court Thursday.

Kayla Montgomery was not at Hillsborough Superior Court in Manchester as a prosecutor discussed information shared in the ongoing search for the child, Harmony Montgomery, who disappeared in 2019 aged 5.

“The state made a plea offer. It was released relatively recently,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Jesse O’Neill told a judge. No details were given.

“Obviously, part of the defendant’s charge relates to lying about whether or not the child was in the household, so while the investigation into the child’s fate is ongoing, the state considers the relevant discovery to be given to the defendant in terms of everything that has been learned about the whereabouts of the missing child,” O’Neill said.

He said the discovery of the case – the process of the parties exchanging information about the witnesses and the evidence they will present at trial – has been very long and is almost complete.

Montgomery’s attorney, Paul Garrity, said he discussed the plea offer with Kayla Montgomery. He said “a counter – to some extent – has been done to the state”.

Garrity asked to schedule another hearing “to give us more time to continue our discussions” and review the prosecution’s information.

A hearing was scheduled for June 9.

Authorities say Harmony Montgomery disappeared in late November or early December 2019 — but authorities didn’t know she was missing until last fall.

Kayla Montgomery, 31, has been in jail since January and was charged last month with theft by deception. She allegedly told state health department employees that Harmony was part of her family from November 2019 to June 2, 2021 and that she received food stamps for Harmony. She pleaded not guilty.

Harmony’s father, Adam Montgomery, who had custody of his daughter, has also been in jail since January for second-degree assault, alleging he punched Harmony in the face in July 2019. He has pleaded not guilty to that and to two misdemeanor charges of interfering with the custody and endangering the welfare of a child. He was recently arrested on unrelated firearm theft charges dating back to 2019.

Kayla and Adam Montgomery are separated. The two told police that Harmony was brought to her mother in Massachusetts around Thanksgiving 2019. Her mother said she last saw her daughter in a video phone conversation about Easter this year- the.

The search for Harmony remains active. The Manchester Police Department’s 24-hour tip line is (603) 203-6060 and there is a reward fund of at least $150,000.

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