Source AP ©

Kansas woman accuses of killing pregnant woman and cutting her baby

Jury selection will begin Monday in the trial of a woman accused of killing a pregnant woman and cutting the baby from the victim's womb to take home as her own child.

Lisa Montgomery is charged with kidnapping resulting in death in the slaying of 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in December 2004. Prosecutors allege that Montgomery strangled Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, and then used a kitchen knife to cut her baby from her womb.

The baby, Victoria Jo Stinnett, survived.

Jury selection, which was scheduled to start Monday, was expected to take three days, with opening arguments starting Thursday. The trial could last up to a month.

Montgomery, 39, pleaded not guilty to kidnapping resulting in death, and her lawyers previously have said they plan to use an insanity defense. They say Montgomery suffers from several conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and impulsivity.

Authorities say at the time of the killing, Montgomery was nine months into a faked pregnancy and was desperate for a baby because her family was raising questions about her story.

A massive search was initiated when Stinnett's mother found her daughter lying in a pool of blood. Police tracked down Montgomery and the baby the next day through e-mails Montgomery, who lives in Kansas, had sent Stinnett about buying a dog.

Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. attorneys office, said prosecutors would not discuss the case before the trial. Montgomery's attorney, David L. Owen Jr., also did not return phone calls seeking comment.