Murder suspect waives preliminary hearing

Friday, December 24, 2004

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A woman accused of killing an expectant mother and cutting the baby from her womb is being moved to federal custody in Missouri after waiving preliminary hearings Thursday morning in Kansas City, Kan. Federal prosecutors have charged Lisa Montgomery, 36, of Melvern, Kan., with kidnapping resulting in death. She is accused of strangling 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, in Stinnett's Skidmore home on Dec. 16, then cutting her baby from her womb. Authorities said the baby, named Victoria Jo Stinnett, was found the next day with Montgomery and her husband, Kevin, in Melvern. The infant was in good health and went home with her father, Zeb Stinnett, after spending the weekend in a Topeka, Kan., hospital.

Montgomery will make an initial appearance before a federal judge in Missouri on Tuesday, to be followed by a detention hearing on Thursday.

Clad in an orange jumpsuit, a somber Montgomery was asked to speak up Thursday when she acknowledged to a judge that she understood what she was doing in court.

She briefly glanced back toward her husband, who was sitting in the front row in the courtroom, as she was being led out.

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