A woman convicted of cutting a pregnant woman’s body open before kidnapping her baby is set to be the first inmate who is a woman to be put to death by the American government in more than 60 years.
The Justice Department said Lisa Montgomery, who was convicted of fatally strangling the woman, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on 8 December at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute in Indiana.
She will be the ninth federal inmate put to death since the Justice Department resumed executions in July after a nearly 20-year hiatus.
Montgomery was convicted of killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore in December 2004.
Montgomery drove from her Kansas home to Stinnett’s house in Skidmore under the guise of adopting a rat terrier puppy, prosecutors said.
When she arrived at the home, Montgomery used a rope to strangle Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, but Stinnett was conscious and trying to defend herself as Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut the baby girl from the womb, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Montgomery removed the baby from Ms Stinnett’s body, took the child with her, and attempted to pass the girl off as her own.
Montgomery’s lawyers argued she had been suffering from delusions when she killed Stinnett, but a jury rejected her defence.
Her lawyers had also argued she was suffering from pseudocyesis, which causes a woman to falsely believe she is pregnant and exhibit outward signs of pregnancy.
The baby survived the attack and Victoria Jo Stinnett is now 16.
Additional reporting by Associated Press