TERRA HAUTE, Ind. (KSNT) – The execution of a Kansas woman found guilty of murdering a pregnant Missouri woman, cutting her baby from her body and trying to pass the baby off as her own will go forward.
Lisa Montgomery was due to be killed by lethal injection on Tuesday, Jan. 12, she was convicted in 2007 in Missouri for kidnapping and strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, then eight months pregnant.
Federal prosecutors filed a motion in the 7th Circuit Court based out of Chicago after lawyers for Lisa Montgomery’s legal team filed a petition to halt her execution.
In December 2004, Montgomery killed pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett at her home in Skidmore, Mo.
The Bureau of Prisons confirmed Montgomery has arrived at the Terre Haute federal execution facility.
Montgomery’s lawyers have asked for U.S. President Donald Trump’s clemency, saying she committed her crime after a lifetime of being abused and raped.
In a nearly 7,000-page clemency petition filed last week, they asked Trump to commute Montgomery’s sentence to life in prison.
The lawyers have said Montgomery admits her guilt but deserves clemency because she has long suffered severe mental illness, exacerbated by being gang raped by her stepfather and his friends during an abusive childhood.
An attorney for Montgomery, Sandra L. Babcock, said in a statement that her client is mentally ill and should not be executed.
“Lisa Montgomery is person with severe mental illness, and numerous experts have concluded
that her crime was the product of a psychotic episode. It is difficult to grasp the extremity of the
horrors Lisa suffered from her earliest childhood, including being raped by her stepfather,
handed off to his friends for their use, sold to groups of adult men by her own mother and
repeatedly gang raped, and relentlessly beaten and neglected. No one intervened to help Lisa,
though many knew what was happening to her.
“In the grip of a psychotic break, Lisa killed a pregnant woman and took the baby. This was a
terrible crime, but Lisa took full responsibility and offered to plead guilty and accept life
imprisonment with no possibility of release. Yet the federal government insisted on seeking the
death penalty, and prosecutors brushed off what little her lawyers told the jury about her history
as an “abuse excuse. Now, despite Lisa’s deteriorating mental health and a much deeper
understanding of the trauma she endured, the government plans to kill her. No other woman has
been executed for a similar crime, because most prosecutors have recognized that it is inevitably
the product of trauma and mental illness.
“Executing Lisa Montgomery would be yet another injustice inflicted on a woman who has
known a lifetime of mistreatment.”