by Steven Ertelt
December 29, 2004
Kansas City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A judge appointed public defenders on Tuesday to represent a woman at the center of a bizarre case receiving national attention. Lisa M. Montgomery stands accused of killing a pregnant woman and stealing her unborn child.
Montomgery, who is 36, appeared in court Tuesday and news reports revealed she could barely be heard when answering questions from a federal magistrate.
Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer ask Montgomery if she was aware of the charges.
She indicated that she was aware of the charges, which stem from the December 16 death of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant at the time. When authorities found Stinnett, she had been cut open, her unborn child was missing, and the umbilical cord had been severed.
Montgomery confessed to police officials that she strangled Stinnett at her Missouri home and took the baby with her. She later told her husband and children that she had given birth.
Judge Maughmer told Montgomery that she would likely be appointed two public defenders to represent her in court.
One of them waived the formal reading of the charges against Stinnett, which could land her in jail for life or give her the death penalty if convicted.
The baby survived the attack and is now living with her father after spending a weekend at a local hospital for evaluation.
The case is drawing further attention to the violence committed against pregnant women. The Montgomery trial follows closely on the heels of the conviction of Scott Peterson in the deaths of his wife and eight-month old unborn baby Conner.