CLEVELAND, OH – It costs about $96 a day to maintain a federal prisoner. The 2020 U.S. budget will not include the $36,000 a year it’s been costing to keep Lisa Montgomery locked up and away from the rest of society at the U.S. Pennitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. She’ll be executed by lethal injection on December 8, 2020. Those federal tax dollars will be used to house another prisoner.
Headlines are describing Montgomery as the first woman to be executed on death row since 1953. It’s a “click bait” angle that’s not really a headline which sets the right tone for the story behind the reason she’s the first in 67 years. Montgomery is a brutally vicious killer.
Bobbie Jo Stinnett was 23 and 8 months pregnant when Montgomery decided she wanted her waiting-to-be born baby on December 16, 2004. Bobbie Jo and her husband, Zeb Stinnett, were breeding rat terriers pups for sale in the their Skidmore, Missouri home. Montgomery pretended to be a woman named Darlene Fischer who wanted to buy one of the pups.
When an appointment was scheduled Montgomery arrived with murder on her mind. She choked Bobbie Jo to death from behind; and then took a knife, carved open Bobbi Jo’s stomach and removed her child. Bobbi Jo’s mother said it looked like her child’s stomach had exploded when she discovered her body.
Police tracked Bobbi Jo’s internet traffic through her Internet Protocol Address and identified her online communications with Montgomery. An Amber Alert was transmitted, but only after intervention from Governor Bob Holden. Cops being cops chose not to issue the Amber Alert because Bobbie Jo’s child was unborn. Holden said it didn’t matter.
Montgomery had already told her husband, Kevin Montgomery, she was pregnant. So when she returned to their home in Melvern, Kansas from the killing with the little girl she’d stolen he halfway believed she’d just given birth. Published reports say he wasn’t charged and knew nothing of the slaughter and kidnapping. Cops arrested Montgomery the next day in her home holding the infant and watching the Amber Alert that had been transmitted to find her.
Only 44 people have been executed by the U.S. government since 1927. That’s according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. Federal executions stopped under then under the nation’s 43rd president: George W. Bush in 2001. They resumed under the nation’s 45th president: Donald Trump in July 2020. [Technically Trump is the 90th POTUS since all have served two terms. Each term begins a new presidency.]
Since then Daniel Lewis Lee, Wesley Ira Purkey, Dustin Lee Honken, Lezmond Charles Mitchell, Keith Dwayne Nelson, William Emmett Lecroy, Jr. and Christopher Andre Vialva were put to death by lethal injection between July 14 and September 24, 2020. The last three federal prisoners to die were Timothy McVeigh, Juan Raul Garza and Louis Jones. Their deaths occurred between June 11, 2001 beginning with McVeigh’s execution and on March 18, 2003. Jones was the last to die before Daniel Lewis Lee’s execution 6328 days later on July 14, 2020.
Vialva, the 44th person put to death, is half Russian and half Trinidian. This brutal murderer slaughtered two Christian youth ministers, Todd and Stacie Bagley, whose car he and two other teenagers stole during a carjacking in Killeen, Texas after they agreed to give them a ride.
The trio stole their money and attempted to pawn Stacie’s wedding ring. They forced the couple into the trunk of their car; and when they pleaded for their lives crying out that “Jesus loves you,” Vialva shot both Christians in the head. Todd was killed. Stacie was knocked out. Another accomplice poured lighter fluid over the car and Brandon Bernard set it on fire. He’ll die on December 10, 2020.
Vialva video-recorded his last words wearing the religious clothing of the Hebrew faith he adopted as his mother’s religion. He called himself a man who is not the person he was as a child without recognizing that his being locked up is that reason. He wanted to live. So did Todd and Stacie.
Vialva’s lawyers played the “black man” angle with Vialva. More “blacks” on death row than whites as if the American Negro families the “blacks” caused pain weren’t glad they were locked up. His supporters claim 11 white and one American Negro juror convicted him as if a jury of 12 American Negro Christians would have not sentenced him to death. He may be our color. He is not our kind. The results would have been the same. He pleaded with Trump for a clemency he did not give Todd and Stacie.
The latest pictures of Montgomery show her smiling. It’s acknowledged that she had a rough life. Raped by her stepfather. Her mother pulled a gun on her when she complained. That “life portrait” fits so many millions of people in this nation who have never harmed a soul. Not even, as her defense team claimed, if the abuse made the victimized child an alcoholic.
So, Montgomery will breathe her last breath on December 8, 2020. 17 days before a Christmas she won’t live to see. And 23 days before the New Year that rings in 2022 she won’t live to see. One of the smiling pictures before her last day shows Montgomery holdingat terrier. It was reminder to this writer that she should have bought the pup instead of killing a woman over her child.
Victoria Jo Stinnett is now 16. She’s with her father. Regardless of what anyone else thinks about Montgomery’s impending death, their thoughts are the only ones that matter.
Montgomery may want to live today. Bobbie Jo had every intention of living and raising her daughter. Montgomery took that dream away from her. She’ll have her last night to dream on December 7th.