A woman convicted of fatally strangling a pregnant woman, cutting her body open and kidnapping her baby is scheduled to be the first female inmate put to death by the U.S. government in more than six decades, the Justice Department said Friday.
Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Dec. 8 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. She would be the ninth federal inmate to put to death since the Justice Department resumed executions in July after a nearly 20-year hiatus.
Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in December 2004.
Montgomery drove from her Kansas home to Stinnett’s house in Skidmore under the guise of adopting a rat terrier puppy, prosecutors said. When she arrived at the home, Montgomery used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, but Stinnett was conscious and trying to defend herself as Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut the baby girl from the womb, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Montgomery removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the child with her, and attempted to pass the girl off as her own.
Montgomery’s lawyers argued that she had been suffering from delusions when she killed Stinnett, but a jury rejected her defense. Her lawyers had also argued that she was suffering from pseudocyesis, which causes a woman to falsely believe she is pregnant and exhibit outward signs of pregnancy.