1st US execution of female inmate in 67 years halted

Melvern woman cut baby from Missouri mother's womb, then passed off the newborn as her own. It's been 16 years, and the woman's federal execution was halted to determine her mental competence.

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National News

January 12, 2021 - 9:40 AM

Lisa Montgomery’s attorneys say she is entitled to reasonable accommodations, "the most significant of which is simply to not transfer her to a men’s prison and instead conduct her execution at FMC Carswell, a prison for women with staff trained to deal with mentally ill and long-traumatized women prisoners."
In this handout photo provided by the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, Lisa Montgomery appears in a booking photo released December 20, 2004, in Kansas City, Kansas. (Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department/Getty Images/TNS)

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A judge has granted a stay in what was slated to be the U.S. government’s first execution of a female inmate in nearly seven decades — a Kansas woman who killed an expectant mother in Missouri, cut the baby from her womb and passed off the newborn as her own.

Judge Patrick Hanlon granted the stay late Monday, citing the need to determine Montgomery’s mental competence, reported the Topeka Capital-Journal. Lisa Montgomery faced execution Tuesday at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, just eight days before President-elect Joe Biden, an opponent of the federal death penalty, takes office. 

Montgomery drove about 170 miles from her Melvern, Kansas, farmhouse to the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore under the guise of adopting a rat terrier puppy from Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a 23-year-old dog breeder. She strangled Stinnett with a rope before performing a crude cesarean and fleeing with the baby.

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