CORONAVIRUS: Federal judge delays execution of Osage County woman after defense team contracts virus Featured

CORONAVIRUS: Federal judge delays execution of Osage County woman after defense team contracts virus US Department of Justice logo

The Osage County woman in line to be the first female federal inmate to receive the death penalty in over 50 years won’t be executed this year.

Lisa Montgomery was set to be executed Dec. 8 after killing a pregnant Missouri woman and cutting the baby out of the womb. However, her attorneys recently developed coronavirus while visiting her in prison. The attorneys wanted a delay so they could write a clemency petition, but they both have significant COVID symptoms at this time and cannot fill out the necessary paperwork. Montgomery’s defense team has said she needs the help on the petition.

A federal judge told Montgomery’s lawyers to file a clemency petition by Dec. 30.

Montgomery, of Melvern, killed Bobbie Jo Stinnett in December 2004 after Montgomery drove to Missouri, ostensibly to buy a puppy. Instead, Montgomery strangled Stinnett twice -- once to the point of losing consciousness and, after starting to remove the baby, once to kill her. Montgomery tried to pass the baby off as her own but later confessed to the crime.

Nearly three years after the crime, a federal jury found Montgomery guilty of federal kidnapping resulting in death and unanimously recommended the death sentence. The court agreed. Her conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. Requests for so-called collateral relief have been universally rejected.

The last federal female inmate to be executed was Bonnie Heady after a kidnapping and murder incident in Missouri in the early 1950s.

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Last modified on Thursday, 19 November 2020 17:15