US Government Executes Lisa Montgomery, Sole Woman On Federal Death Row

Montgomery was convicted of hatching a murder-kidnap scheme and cutting an expectant mother’s baby from her womb.

January 13, 2021

Lisa Montgomery (inset) and anti-death penalty activists in Bloomington, Indiana January 12, 2021 [SOPA Images/Getty]

Lisa Montgomery (inset) and anti-death penalty activists in Bloomington, Indiana January 12, 2021 [SOPA Images/Getty]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Lisa Montgomery, who was convicted in 2007 of strangling an expectant mother and then cutting the woman’s baby girl from her womb, has become the first female the US government has executed since 1953.

Lisa Montgomery [US Gov]

Lisa Montgomery [US Gov]

Montgomery declined to offer any last words, and officials at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, pronounced Montgomery, 52, dead by lethal injection at 1:31 a.m. on Wednesday, January 13, the Associated Press reported.

In the time leading up to her execution, Montgomery’s lawyers had argued she was mentally ill and did not have a rational comprehension of her death sentence. “The government stopped at nothing in its zeal to kill this damaged and delusional woman,” defense attorney Kelley Henry said in a statement. “Lisa Montgomery’s execution was far from justice.”

In December 2004, Montgomery reportedly hatched a premeditated murder-kidnap scheme. She drove from her home in Melvern, Kansas, to Skidmore, Missouri, under the guise of adopting a puppy from 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant at the time. When she arrived at Stinnett’s home, Montgomery strangled the victim with a rope until she passed out.

According to a United States Department of Justice news release, Montgomery then used a kitchen knife to “cut into Stinnett’s abdomen, causing her to regain consciousness.”

“A struggle ensued, and Montgomery strangled Stinnett to death,” the release continues. “Montgomery then removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the baby with her, and attempted to pass it off as her own.”

Montgomery later confessed to the murder and abduction, the DOJ notes, and Montgomery was convicted of federal kidnapping resulting in death.

Stinnett’s daughter, Victoria Jo, is now 16.

Before Montgomery’s execution, the last female to be put to death by the US government was in December 1953. In that case, Bonnie Brown Heady was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering a six-year-old Missouri boy.

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