Lisa Montgomery who cut baby out of pregnant woman killing her will be first female to be executed in 70 years

In 2004, Montgomery choked the victim with a rope and while she was still conscious and trying to defend herself, a kitchen knife was used to cut the baby out


                            Lisa Montgomery who cut baby out of pregnant woman killing her will be first female to be executed in 70 years
(Getty Images)

A google search on Lisa Montgomery shows up entries on her listed in the 'deadlywomenfandom' wiki. The reason? In 2004, Montgomery brutally murdered a pregnant woman before cutting out her unborn baby from her womb and tried to pass the infant girl as her own child. Montgomery was convicted and has been on death-row all this while and she is now set to become the first woman inmate to be federally executed in the last 67 years after the Trump administration resumed the carrying out of death sentences following a 17-year pause.

Montgomery will finally be executed on December 8 by lethal injection after being sentenced to death for the murder of Missouri woman Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Stinnett was all of 23 when Montgomery strangled her to death and then carved out her womb with a knife. Montgomery herself was faking being pregnant at the time. Stinnett's baby miraculously survived the attacked and is now 16 years old.

Montgomery, who will be executed by lethal injection at US Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana, will be the first female death row inmate to be put to death since Boddy Heady was executed in 1953 for kidnapping and murdering a 6-year-old boy. Montgomery too was found guilty of federal kidnapping resulting in death, and in 2007, was subsequently sentenced to death for the murder. The news of her sentence being carried out was released in a statement from the DOJ on October 16. 

How Montgomery found her victim

Montgomery had met Stinnett online, pretending to be interested in buying a rat terrier. She posed as 'Darlene Fischer' and started chatting with Stinnett through a chatroom called 'Ratter Chatter'. Montgomery claimed to be pregnant and soon their chats surrounding their pregnancies escalated to emails. Stinnett was eighth months along while Montgomery also claimed to be full term. 

On December 16, 2004, Montgomery arrived at Stinnett's Skidmore home to purchase a rat terrier. She then strangled Stinnett with a neon pink rope and cut the baby girl from her womb. Stinnett's mother discovered her daughter's body hours later, and police arrested Montgomery the next day at the killer's farmhouse. The baby she stole had survived and was returned to the father, Zeb Stinnett. Three years later, in 2007, Montgomery was sentenced to death by a US District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

She was delusional about her pregnancy

Her trial saw Montgomery's defense argue that the Kansas woman was delusional about her pregnancy and unable to differentiate between right and wrong during the murder. The defense claimed she was a victim of severe mental illness, and once her delusion of pregnancy was threatened, she had entered a dream-like state where she ended up murdering Stinnett. The defense tried explaining that Montgomery also had severe post-traumatic stress disorder caused by mental, physical and sexual abuse in her childhood.

Prosecutors however brought up how Montgomery had carefully planned the meeting with Stinnett at her Missouri home, with the false pretense of being pregnant. Not only did Montgomery try passing off Stinnett's baby as her own, but she also told her husband that she had gone into labor during a shopping trip and had him pick her up near a Topeka health center, where she claimed to have given birth to the baby.

Montgomery had undergone tubal ligation in 1990 after giving birth to her fourth child. Soon after, she started reporting a series of false pregnancies, the latest being in 2004, where she claimed to be due mid-December. Suspicious of her claims, her husband Carl Boman had threatened to use it against her as he sought custody of two of their four children — a hearing for which had been set for January 2005. Even Montgomery's mother and sister had been telling Boman it was impossible for her to be pregnant. 

During the attack, as Montgomery choked Stinett with a rope, the victim was still conscious and trying to defend herself as a kitchen knife was used to cut the baby out of the womb, said prosecutors. "The only good thing that comes from this tragedy is that little Victoria is a healthy baby and is reunited with her family," US Attorney John F Wood had said during the trial. 

Montgomery had initially denied the crime, but later told investigators that she was carrying a knife, a rope and even an umbilical cord clamp with her when she went to meet Stinnett. Still claiming she deserves to live for her mental illness stemming from child abuse, Montgomery's attorney Kelly Henry said in a statement: "Lisa Montgomery has long accepted full responsibility for her crime, and she will never leave prison," Henry said in a statement. "But her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice."

Montgomery's execution will be shortly followed by that of Brandon Bernard, who will be put to death on December 10 for the murder of two youth ministers in 1999.

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