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Insanity Defense In Stolen Fetus Case

The mother of a woman who cut a baby from the womb of an acquaintance she killed testified that she caught her then-husband having sex with her daughter in 1984.

Montgomery, 39, is accused of strangling Stinnett, 23, on Dec. 16, 2004 and using a kitchen knife to cut the baby from her womb.

The baby, Victoria Jo Stinnett, survived and is now almost 3 years old.

Judy Shaughnessy, Montgomery's mother, testified Friday she found then-husband Jack Kleiner having sex with Montgomery in 1984, when Montgomery would have been about 16. She testified as attorneys began building Montgomery's insanity defense.

Lisa Montgomery has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping resulting in the death of Bobbie Joe Stinnett, 23. Her defense team admits she killed Stinnett and took the baby but says it will show Montgomery suffered from mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by abuse from her stepfather when she was a teenager.

Several of Montgomery's siblings and step-siblings testified that Montgomery's stepfather abused all of them. Shaughnessy testified about the sexual abuse but acknowledged she never filed a formal police complaint, in part because she said Kleiner had threatened her and the children.

Some of Montgomery's siblings and step-siblings described Kleiner as an alcoholic who often beat them, especially the girls, and said Shaughnessy did nothing to protect her daughters until she divorced him in 1985.

Shaughnessy's daughter, Patty Baldwin, testified that Kleiner would take her into a bathroom, make her pull down her pants and beat her with a belt. Becky Perkey, Montgomery's stepsister, said Kleiner used his fist on her and hit her with a telephone receiver. Teddy Kleiner said his father used a belt on all the children.

Kleiner, of Manhattan, Kan., was too ill to travel to Kansas City. In videotaped testimony, he denied having sex with Montgomery and said he could not remember ever physically abusing his daughters.

Shown a transcript of the divorce proceedings, during which he had admitted some physical abuse, Kleiner said he didn't have a good memory.

David Kidwell, Shaughnessy's nephew, testified that she had told him she believed Montgomery "had brought (the abuse) on herself, that she enticed him."

Pat Brunton, a former social worker for the state of Kansas who was involved in a custody dispute involving one of Shaughnessy's grandsons, also said Shaughnessy told her that Montgomery seduced Kleiner. She called Shaughnessy a manipulative, dishonest woman who pitted her children against each other so that she could be the center of attention.

Shaughnessy testified that her daughter faked several pregnancies since undergoing a tubal ligation after the birth of her fourth child in 1990.

When a man congratulated Shaughnessy on Dec. 17, 2004, for becoming a grandmother again, and said Montgomery had been showing off a new baby in her hometown of Melvern, Kan., Shaughnessy said her first reaction was "she either bought it or stole it."

Montgomery was arrested that evening, a day after Stinnett's killing, and the baby girl was returned to her father.

Shaughnessy cried on the witness stand, saying it upset her because she knew what it was like to be a mother.

"For Lisa to do something like that ... that was Bobbie Jo's first baby, Lisa just had no right to do that," she said.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty if Montgomery is convicted.

Besides convicting or acquitting her, jurors could find Montgomery not guilty by reason of insanity. If that is the verdict, she would undergo a mental evaluation and a judge would decide if she will be released or committed to a mental institution.

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