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Montgomery met Stinnett online in a rat terrier chatroom called "Ratter Chatter." Posing as "Darlene Fischer," Montgomery told Stinnett that she, too, was pregnant. The two women chatted online and exchanged e-mails about their pregnancies. Montgomery then arranged a meeting at Stinnett's home under the pretext of wanting to buy a rat terrier. On December 16, 2004, Montgomery strangled the pregnant woman in her home in Skidmore, Missouri, and cut the premature infant from her womb. She later attempted to pass the infant girl off as her own child.  After Montgomery's capture by police, the day-old baby was recovered. Victoria Jo Stinnett was returned to the care of her father, Zeb Stinnett.
Lisa M. Montgomery, Federal Bureau of Prisons No. 11072-031, is held at Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. She could become the third woman to be put to death by the federal government since 1927.
At a pre-trial hearing, a neuropsychologist testified that head injuries which she had suffered some years before could have damaged the part of the brain which controls aggression. During her trial in federal court, her defense attorneys asserted that she suffered from pseudocyesis, a mental condition that causes a woman to falsely believe she is pregnant and exhibit outward signs of pregnancy.
Noted neuroscientist VS Ramachandran gave expert testimony that Montgomery suffered from severe pseudocyesis delusion. According to Dr. Ramachandran, Montgomery's childhood sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder predisposed her to pseudocyesis. Dr. Ramachandran testified that Montgomery's stories about her actions fluctuated because her delusional state fluctuated. Ramachandran stated that Montgomery was suffering from a severe mental disease or defect when she committed the crime and that she was unable to appreciate the nature and quality of her acts. Federal prosecutor Roseann Ketchmark characterized Ramachandran's theory linking the murder/kidnapping to pseudocyesis as "voodoo science."
Forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz testified for the prosecution. Dietz had worked with prosecutors on other high-profile cases, including those of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, as well as two women, Andrea Yates and Susan Smith, who had killed their own children.  Dietz testified that Montgomery did not suffer from pseudocyesis and stated that he considered Ramachandran's theory to be outrageous.
On October 22, 2007, jurors found Montgomery guilty of murder. On October 26, the jury recommended a death sentence.  Prosecutor Matt Whitworth claimed that Lisa Montgomery planned the murder well in advance, according to a report from the BBC. On April 4, 2008, a judge upheld the jury's recommendation for death.