Stinnett Murder Suspect to Appear in Court

Suspect in Grisly Death to Appear in Court (AP)

Photo: This is an undated photo showing Lisa M. Montgomery who has reportedly confessed to strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Skidmore, Mo., cutting out the fetus and taking the baby back to Kansas.The woman accused of strangling a pregnant woman and taking the fetus is scheduled to make her first court appearance Monday. Authorities said Lisa Montgomery, of Melvern, Kan., confessed to strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Skidmore, Mo., cutting out the fetus and taking the baby back to Kansas. She is accused of trying to pass the child off as her own to family and friends. The baby girl was later recovered unharmed.

Montgomery, 36, remained held at a detention center in Kansas City, Kan. She faces a federal charge of kidnapping resulting in murder. U.S. Attorney Todd Graves said on NBC’s “Today” that Montgomery would probably go first to U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., and could be taken across the state line within hours for a first appearance in federal court in Kansas City, Mo.

Victoria Jo Stinnett, the slain woman’s baby, remained in the neonatal intensive care unit at Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka, Kan. “She’s in remarkably good condition for what has happened to her,” hospital spokeswoman Tami Motley said Monday. There was no immediate indication when the infant might go home.

My guess is that Montgomery will be judged insane and escape criminal sanction.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Attila Girl says:

    But it wasn’t kidnapping resulting in murder: it was the other way around.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I dunno. A 36-year-old who thinks she’ll be able to kill somebody and pass their baby off as their own isn’t 100% balanced. Of course, Missouri uses the M’Naughton standard, which says that “a defendant should not be held responsible for his actions if he could not tell that his actions were wrong at the time.” The fact that she fleed and tried to conceal her crime might be enough to overcome that.

  3. sortapundit says:

    A 36-year-old who thinks she’ll be able to kill somebody and pass their baby off as their own isn’t 100% balanced.

    I found a weird message written by Montgomery on an MSN Group, introducing herself:

    Hi, my name is Lisa and I live on an old farm in eastern Kansas. Our house is a little over 100 years old and was originally built without electric or running water. It has 6 bedrooms and 1 itty bitty bathroom.I have 4 children, ages 12, 13, 14, and 16, and my husband has 3 boys, ages 11, 13, and 18. We are also expecting new baby any day. Lisa.

    It’s a strange message, as Montgomery has only 2 children. I was wondering if this was just harmless fantasy or a sign of her problems.

  4. LJD says:

    Here comes the post-partum murder defense. I can see it a mile away. Supposedly this freak had a miscarriage just before her act…or so she says.
    Either way, why should being crazy justify murder? Does it make the victim’s family feel any better? Fry this whacko in the chair.

  5. Roger says:

    While I’m not a lawyer, I think she’s going to have a hard time walking away from this. Unless the defense can get her confession suppressed, this is clearly murder one. She sought out which pregnant woman to go after, crossed state lines, killed the woman, performed the “operation” and stole the baby. Some serious thought went into this murder plot.

    I also wonder if she truly acted on her own.

  6. lunacy says:

    My only prediction is that MSM will not cover this case as fiercely as it did Scott Peterson, as their journalists don’t want to hang in Kansas and Missouri as much as they enjoyed their frequent “live coverage” in Modesto.

  7. Vickie says:

    Definitely a case where a person felt themselves above the law and above discovery… one has to wonder though, usually the people who get to that point are those who are suffering from some mental illness… this woman was obviously a pathological liar… and found it easy to convince herself that this scheme would work… obviously with no presence of mind (leaving behind a clump or two of hair, no thought to how a birth certificate would be obtained, and an internet trail all the while connected to the same breed specific breeding group)… Although a HUGE tragedy.. this is a sick woman