A woman who strangled an expectant mother and cut her newborn baby out of her womb is scheduled to be executed in December, the first execution of a female federal prisoner in 70 years, Daily Mail reports.
Authorities on Friday announced that 43-year-old Lisa Montgomery, an inmate at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana, will be put to death by legal injection on December 8.
Montgomery is serving a death sentence for the 2004 murder of pregnant 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, whose baby Montgomery cut out of her with a carving knife.
Montgomery, who was faking her own pregnancy, had met Stinnett online pretending to be interested in buying a dog.
The two women had arranged to meet on Dec. 16, 2004, at Stinnett’s Missouri home about buying a rat terrier. Investigators believe Montgomery strangled Stinnett with a rope and then cut the fetus from her womb.
Horrifically, prosecutors believe that Stinnett was conscious and had been trying to defend herself while Montgomery used a kitchen knife to kidnap the child, according to the Daily Mail.
The baby survived and Montgomery tried to pretend she was hers.
Hours later, Stinnett’s mother discovered her daughter’s body and police arrested Montgomery the following day. The baby was returned to her father and is now 16 years old.
Lawyers for Montgomery argued that she was severely mentally ill, could not understand the difference between right and wrong, and suffered from a delusion that she was pregnant. Her attorneys also asserted that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder triggered by childhood physical, mental, and sexual abuse.
However, prosecutors presented evidence that Montgomery planned the meeting with Stinnett and devised a story of how she had gone into labor while on a shopping trip, even though she had undergone tubal ligation in 1990.
Montgomery, who later confessed to the crime, was sentenced to death in 2007.
Her lawyer, Kelley Henry, said in a written statement to The Kansas City Star that she should not be executed because she is mentally ill and was a victim of child abuse. To this day she still must take numerous antipsychotic medications, Kelley told the newspaper.
“Lisa Montgomery has long accepted full responsibility for her crime, and she will never leave prison,” Henry told the newspaper. “But her severe mental illness and the devastating impacts of her childhood trauma make executing her a profound injustice.”
The last execution of a female federal prisoner was in 1953, when the government put to death Bonnie Heady by gas chamber in Missouri. She had kidnapped and murdered a 6-year-old boy and then buried him in her backyard.
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[Feature Photo: Lisa Montgomery & Bobbie Jo Stinnett/Police Handout; Handout]