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Adam Montgomery is due in court for sentencing

April 20 – A judge has ruled that Adam Montgomery, convicted of the murder of his daughter Harmony, must appear in court for sentencing on May 9, despite his request not to attend.

In February, Montgomery was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of his five-year-old daughter, whose body has never been found.

He requested to waive his appearance at the hearing because he maintains he is innocent of murder, tampering with a witness and second-degree assault.

In her April 19 decision, Hillsborough Superior Court North Judge Amy Messer said members of the victim’s family and others are expected to testify during the sentencing.

The prosecutor argued that Montgomery has no legal right to skip the procedure.

Messer cited state law RSA 651:4-a, which states that “the suspect shall appear in person in court when the victim or the victim’s next of kin address the judge, unless excused by the court.”

Although the statute gives the judge discretion to grant such a request, “the Court does not find that the defendant has established an adequate factual or legal basis for doing so…the defendant has been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury on these charges,” Messer wrote.

The defendant has a right to attend his sentencing, but that does not translate into a right not to attend his sentencing, Messer wrote.