UPDATE: Late Monday night, a federal judge in Indiana granted Lisa Montgomery a stay of execution for the purpose of holding a competency hearing, court records say. The Department of Justice quickly appealed the ruling.
SKIDMORE, Mo. — A Kansas woman is scheduled to be executed for her crimes Tuesday as there are cries to spare her life.
Lawyers for the only woman on federal death row are asking a judge to halt Lisa Montgomery’s execution at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, arguing she isn’t competent and can’t be put to death.
If the execution is carried out, Montgomery will be the first woman put to death by the federal government in more than 60 years.
In Skidmore, Mo., people say the focus should be on justice for Bobbie Jo Stinnett.
It’s a town with nearly as many wind turbines as there are people. But with a population of just 284, it has seen more than its share of tragedy. A memorial sits across from City Hall with the engraving, “In Memory of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, Loving Wife, Mother, Daughter and Sister.”
“It was brutal. It was horrific and really our community hasn’t been the same since,” Jena Baumli said.
“In a lot of ways, people had a hard time feeling safe after that happened, and we felt violated,” Mayor Sandy Wright said.
There’s been plenty of debate about the Kansas woman who carried out the vicious attack, and whether Montgomery should die for her crimes.
“What thorough investigation has revealed is what Lisa endured was extraordinary,” said Jeff Dazey, an attorney with the Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services.
Dazey isn’t defending Montgomery but agrees with her lawyers who have filed appeals for her clemency based on alleged sexual abuse and brain damage.
Friends of Stinnett and the mayor of Skidmore want the world to know what the 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant endured.
“She did a dry run the day before she committed this crime. She purchased supplies in order to commit it. This was not a crime that was done in the heat of the moment. This was a calculated attempt to steal someone’s baby and take their life,” Wright said.
They also want people to know who Stinnett was and who she might have become.
“I think the world is missing out because I think Bobbi Jo would have been amazing at whatever she decided to do,” Baumli said.
That baby who Montgomery cut from Stinnett’s womb and detectives rescued just turned 16. She has never spoken publicly, and the family has asked for privacy. Wright told FOX4 they will be there to witness Montgomery’s execution.
Skidmore recently purchased the home where Stinnett was killed. Leaders plans to tear it down and turn it into a community garden. The town’s history has also been chronicled by the docuseries, “No One Saw a Thing,” detailing a 1981 murder of a town bully and a still unsolved 2001 disappearance.