Stay lifted, federal government executes Lisa Montgomery

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Lisa Montgomery/U.S. prison photo


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.