doj.gif

NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


OCTOBER 22, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS KANSAS WOMAN FOR

KIDNAPPING RESULTING IN DEATH


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Melvern, Kan., woman was convicted by a federal jury today for kidnapping a baby girl in December 2004, resulting in the death of the infant's mother.


            Lisa M. Montgomery, 39, of Melvern, was found guilty of kidnapping Victoria Jo Stinnett by cutting her from her mother’s womb in order to claim her as her own child, taking the baby across the state line from Skidmore, Mo., to Melvern. Montgomery's actions resulted in the death of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, the baby's mother.


            “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Victoria Jo Stinnett and the family of Bobbie Jo Stinnett during this difficult time,” Wood said. “I would like to thank and acknowledge the tremendous investigative efforts by our law enforcement partners. The exhaustive investigation conducted by these federal, state and local agencies led to the rescue of Victoria Jo and reunited her with her father. It provides another example of outstanding cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.”


            Evidence was presented at trial that Montgomery strangled Bobbie Jo Stinnett with a rope and used a kitchen knife to cut her infant daughter from her womb. At the time of her death, Bobbie Jo Stinnett was eight months pregnant.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated about four hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner in the trial that began Oct. 1, 2007. The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled to commence at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007. At the conclusion of the penalty phase, the jury will recommend a sentence of either the death penalty or life in federal prison without parole.


            This case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S.Attorney Matt J. Whitworth and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roseann Ketchmark and Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Nodaway County, Mo., Sheriff's Department; the Maryville, Mo., Department of Public Safety; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Missouri State Highway Patrol; the Atchison County, Mo., Sheriff's Department; the St. Joseph, Mo., Police Department; the Northwest Missouri Major Case Squad; and the Cameron, Mo., Police Department.


****************

This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html