Jan 13, 2021 12:29 PM

Stay lifted, federal government executes Lisa Montgomery

Posted Jan 13, 2021 12:29 PM
Lisa Montgomery/U.S. prison photo
Lisa Montgomery/U.S. prison photo

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

A woman who carried out one of the most gruesome murders in northwest Missouri history has been put to death.

Federal officials executed Lisa Montgomery by lethal injection early this morning at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. Montgomery was pronounced dead at 1:31 a.m.

Montgomery killed 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in her Skidmore home in December 2004, but not before cutting out Stinnett’s baby. Montgomery returned home with the baby, claiming the girl as her own.

A federal judge had stayed the execution, but the United States Supreme Court declined to uphold the stay and allowed the execution to proceed, the first execution of a female inmate by the United States government in nearly seven decades.

Prosecutors say Montgomery traveled to Skidmore under the guise of adopting a Rat Terrier puppy. When she arrived, Montgomery used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant. Stinnett attempted to defend herself as Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut the baby from the womb. Montgomery removed the baby and then killed Stinnett.

A jury rejected the defense contention that Montgomery had been suffering from delusions when she killed Stinnett. The Supreme Court refused to block the execution, rejecting the argument from Montgomery’s defense lawyers that she should be given a competency hearing.

Montgomery’s attorneys and family had appealed to President Donald Trump to commute her sentence to life without the possibility of parole.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.