She would be the ninth inmate killed since the federal government resumed executions in July after a hiatus of nearly 20 years.
A woman convicted of fatally strangling a pregnant woman, slitting her body and abducting her baby is believed to be the first female inmate to be killed by the U.S. government in more than six decades, the Justice Department said on Friday .
Lisa Montgomery is due to be executed by lethal injection on December 8th at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. She would be the ninth federal inmate to have been killed since the Justice Department resumed executions in July after a hiatus of nearly 20 years.
Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in December 2004 in the northwestern town of Skidmore, Missouri.
Montgomery drove from her home in Kansas to Stinnett’s home in Skidmore under the guise of adopting a rat terrier puppy, prosecutors said. When she got home, Montgomery strangled Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, with a rope. However, Stinnett was conscious and trying to defend himself when Montgomery cut the girl from the womb with a kitchen knife.
Prosecutors said Montgomery removed the baby from Stinnett’s body, took the child and tried to pass the girl off as her own.
Montgomery’s attorneys argued that she was delusional when she killed Stinnett, but a jury denied her defense. Her lawyers had also argued that she suffered from pseudocytosis, which leads a woman to mistakenly believe she is pregnant and show outward signs of pregnancy.
The Justice Department also planned on Friday the execution of a man convicted of the 1999 murder of two youth ministers in Texas. Brandon Bernard, 40, is due to be executed by lethal injection on December 10th.
Bernard and his co-defendant Christopher Vialva were convicted of the 1999 kidnapping and murder of Todd and Stacie Bagley, an Iowa couple who stopped using payphones in Killeen, Texas. The couple agreed to take Vialva and two others with them, authorities said. Vialva pulled out a gun, forced the couple into the trunk and drove around for several hours, stopping at ATMs to withdraw cash, and tried to pawn the woman’s wedding ring, according to prosecutors. Both victims were shot in the head and placed in the trunk of their car, which was then set on fire.
Vialva was executed last month in the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute.
The resumption of federal executions began on July 14 with the execution of former white supremacist Daniel Lewis Lee. Since then, six more people have been killed and another man, Orlando Hall, is due to be executed next month. According to anti-death penalty groups, President Donald Trump is pushing for executions during campaign season to improve the reputation of a law and order leader.
Before executions resumed this summer, federal authorities had only executed three prisoners in the past 56 years.