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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 26, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


LISA MONTGOMERY RECEIVES DEATH PENALTY

FOR KIDNAPPING RESULTING IN DEATH


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a federal jury returned a special verdict today finding that Lisa M. Montgomery, 39, of Melvern, Kan., shall be sentenced to death for kidnapping a baby girl in December 2004, resulting in the death of the infant's mother.


            “We are confident that justice has been served in this case,” said Wood. “I want to thank everyone in law enforcement who has worked on this investigation. It is hard to imagine a better example of law enforcement cooperation than the efforts that led to the successful rescue of baby Victoria Jo from her mother’s killer.”


            “As I have said before, the only positive thing to come out of this tragedy is that today Victoria Jo is a healthy soon-to-be-3-year-old who has been reunited with her family.”


            Montgomery was found guilty on Monday, Oct. 22, 2007, 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.


            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.


            “I would like to thank the jury for their careful and thoughtful deliberations and the sacrifices they have made to ably serve in this trial,” said Wood. “The evidence presented during this trial was horrific and often times very graphic. This could not have been an easy case to hear as a juror, and these private citizens served a pivotal and essential role in this judicial proceeding.”


            The penalty phase of the trial lasted nearly two days. The jury in U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated about four hours before returning the special death sentence verdict to U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner in the trial that began Oct. 1, 2007. A formal sentencing hearing will be scheduled by the court at a later date.


            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.


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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