Lawyers representing a woman awaiting execution appealed for a delay due to coronavirus-related complications.
Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Dec. 8 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute.
In their appeal, Montgomery’s lawyers say the decision to schedule her execution “during the height of the pandemic” has prevented Montgomery from exercising her right to participate in and receive assistance during the process of filing an appeal for clemency.
Amy Harwell and Kellye Henry, Montgomery’s lead lawyers, began traveling from Nashville to Carswell, Texas, to visit Montgomery after learning the date of her execution had been set, but they both received positive tests for COVID-19 after their third trip.
The appeal says Harwell and Henry “are virtually bed-ridden” with debilitating symptoms that prevent them from working and will be unable to travel to help Montgomery apply for clemency before the filing deadline passes.
In December 2004, Lisa Montgomery was convicted of killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett, 23, in northwest Missouri, according to the Associated Press.
Prosecutors said Montgomery drove from her home in Kansas to Stinnett’s home in Skidmore, Missouri, claiming she was going to adopt a puppy. When Montgomery arrived, she strangled Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant
Authorities say Stinnett was conscious and attempting to defend herself when Montgomery used a kitchen knife to cut Stinnett’s baby from her womb. She then took Stinnett’s daughter with her and pretended the baby was her own.