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The so-called 'Womb Raider Killer' refused to give any final words as she died gasping for air in prison, according to a harrowing account by witnesses.
Lisa Montgomery, 52, was sentenced to death for killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Missouri, US in December 2004.
She was finally put to death in the early hours of Wednesday morning, becoming the first woman executed in the US since 1953, after a number of delays and a legal battle to reduce her sentence.
The killer received a lethal injection at Terre Haute prison in Indiana – the only federal jail with an active death chamber – after a last minute stay of execution was overruled.
Michael Tarm, a legal affairs writer who was at the prison, revealed that Montgomery’s final moments on earth saw her gasp for air.
She reportedly refused to offer any final words and died in silence.
“As the execution process began, a female executioner standing over #LisaMontgomery's shoulder, leaned over, gently removed Montgomery's face mask and asked her if she had any last words,” Tarm reported.
"'No,' Montgomery responded in a quiet, muffled voice. She said nothing else.”
She is reported to have looked bewildered at journalists who were watching on from behind glass. Montgomery "tapped her fingers nervously", and looked calm before closing her eyes, TIME reported.
And Tarm added: “As the lethal injection began, at around 1:18 a.m., Montgomery kept licking her lips and gasped briefly as the pentobarbital entered her body through IVs on both arms.
Most notorious female killers as 'womb raider' given last-minute death row delay
“A few minutes later, her midsection throbbed for a moment, but quickly stopped.”
Montgomery’s death sentence had been heavily disputed in the US. She was said to have suffered from severe mental conditions, and her lawyers said she would not understand.
The Womb Raider killer had herself been the victim of “unspeakable torture” and sex trafficking.
Her lawyer, Kelley Henry, had called the execution "vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power."
She said in a statement that her client was refused the chance to pray with a spiritual advisor in the moments before her death.
'Womb raider' killer to be first woman executed in nearly 70 years with lethal injection
Ms Henry said: "The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight.
“Everyone who participated in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should feel shame.
“The government stopped at nothing in its zeal to kill this damaged and delusional woman. Lisa Montgomery’s execution was far from justice.”
Lawyers had claimed that Montgomery had brain damage and was too mentally ill to be executed. They appealed to Donald Trump but never received a response.
'Womb raider' female death row killer to be executed this month, US court rules
In 2004 Montgomery strangled her victim – who was eight months pregnant – with a piece of rope before retrieving the unborn baby girl with a kitchen knife.
She killed mum-to-be Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was just 23-years-old, before cutting her foetus out and kidnapping it.
They had met on the internet before Montgomery drove more than a hundred miles from her home in Kansas to Skidmore to meet her in person.
Prosecutors said she stole the baby and tried to pass her off as her own. But her lies fell apart as she was quizzed and she admitted to the crime.
She was arrested the next day and convicted by a jury of murder in 2007.
The baby, Victoria Jo, survived the attack and is now 16-years-old.
Her controversial execution comes in the final days of the Trump administration, having originally been set for December before delays.
Trump’s administration has put 10 people to death over the last seven months.
- In the News
- Prison News
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