Adam Montgomery's Weapons Trial Starts With Twists And Turns
MANCHESTER, NH — Adam Montgomery sat next to his defense attorneys while listening to opening presentations from the prosecutors and his attorneys in Hillsborough County Superior Court North on Thursday.
Montgomery, 33, is facing charges involving stolen weapons that, if convicted, could send him to jail for decades as a career criminal. The current trial has no connection to the charges he faces in the alleged murder of his daughter Harmony Montgomery but was discovered during that investigation.
The day in and outside the courtroom had an array of unusual events that included a key witness leaving court and being chased down by prosecutors.
The first witness was Christopher Frain who was the owner of the missing and stolen weapons. He testified to which guns he owned, which went missing, and where he was when they disappeared.
Frain said he commonly left his home on Russell Street in Manchester for a week at a time to work construction in New York. He stored his long guns under a bed and two handguns in a drawer.
When he returned from New York, he went to access them to go target shooting and discovered some of them missing. At one point, Senior Assistant Attorney Ben Agatti showed him one of the guns he identified as one of the missing guns.
Kimberly Frain took the stand as the second witness. After being sworn, in she was asked to remove her N-95-style mask so that she could be heard. She told the judge she worked in a hospital and wanted it to remain on but was told to remove it. Frain also told the court that it was the last place she wanted to be.
Frain said she was in a very bad place in the past when the incident with the guns occurred. She said she used multiple drugs and had several people she would contact to get drugs when she had cash. Frain when asked about a missing silver wedding band that belonged to Chris and said she had sold it to a pawn shop to get cash for drugs. She also shared with the court while testifying that she had worked with Adam and Kayla Montgomery at the Dunkins on Beech Street.
Frain said while Chris was out of town, she would let her friends borrow the car, and some of the guns, in trade, for drugs. She indicated sometimes a man she referred to as “Ish” would not bring the car back when asked.
The night that the guns disappeared, she was hanging out with Adam at her house on Russell Street. They were trying to get drugs to use and Frain pointed out she had been up for three days straight due to the drugs she had used.
Frain said she fell asleep while Adam was still there and when she woke in the morning, she found a pipe with drugs and the backdoor open. She realized at that time some of the guns were missing.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Carolyn Smith, Frain contradicted several of the statements she made to the prosecutors.
Frain was visibly annoyed with the cross-examination and appeared to be uncooperative and sarcastic at times.
As Smith asked about statements Frain made to the grand jury she conficted what she had said under oath.
Frain pointed out she was clean and sober now and back when things happened with the guns, it was hard to remember. Smith reminded her of when she testified to the grand jury that was in a time period when she said she was sober.
Honorable Judge Amy Messer took a lunch recess and as Frain walked off the witness stand, she made some statements most people could not hear or understand. Messer reminded Frain she was under obligation to come back to finish her testimony after recess. She advised Frain to speak to the prosecutors and have a clear understanding of the ramifications if she didn’t return.
Frain walked by the prosecutors and exited the courthouse at a fast pace. Agatti and Christopher Knowles of the Attorney General’s Office chased Frain down Chestnut Street until she stopped. They had a brief interaction and Frain got in a car and left the area.
After the lunchtime recess, Frain returned to the courthouse and finished testifying.
Frain’s testimony was crucial in the weapons trial of Montgomery, who faces six charges.
Mark Reed was the third witness to take the stand Thursday. He testified that he was previously addicted to drugs, and during that time “did what he had to get money.” One of those things he said was to buy and “flip” guns. He said he was familiar with Adam Montgomery and reached out to him on FaceBook. Montgomery asked for Reed to buy some guns which Reed identified as the missing guns.
Over one thousand messages sent between Reed and Montgomery were entered as evidence. Some of those spoke about an offer to sell one of the guns for a “finger or stick” of heroin and $80 cash.
The trial which is expected to last at least five days will continue Friday.
Kayla Montgomery who is expected to testify will be called to the witness stand next week.
©Jeffrey Hastings www.frameofmindphoto.com/news