A Texas woman is set to receive the death penalty Tuesday evening, the first woman to be put to death in the United States since 2010.
Kimberly McCarthy, 51, called her 71-year-old neighbor, Dorothy Booth, of Huntsville, and asked to borrow a cup of sugar.
When McCarthy went next door, instead of retrieving the sugar from the retired psychology professor, she attacked Booth with a 10-inch butcher knife, cutting off her finger to retrieve a diamond ring while Booth was still alive.
"(McCarthy) quite literally took the woman, put her left hand on a chopping block of the kitchen and then used a knife to sever her ring finger while she was still alive," Greg Davis, a Dallas County assistant district attorney who worked on the case, told the Associated Press. "She took the ring from the finger that had been severed and continued the attack until she finally killed her."
After a series of vicious attacks, McCarthy killed Booth, and then stole her credit cards, driver's license, and Mercedes. She fled 200 miles south to Dallas, where she pawned the ring for $200, pawn shop receipts showed. She then went to a "crack house" to buy cocaine, according to testimony.
The Dallas County jury that heard the case found McCarthy guilty of the 1997 killing. During the punishment trail, DNA evidence surfaced of McCarthy's ties to two other slayings, at which point the jury determined her crimes warranted the death penalty.
McCarthy lost all her court appeals, according to the Associated Press. Her attorneys asked to delay the lethal injection, based on Dallas County District Attorney's interest in a law that centers appeals on race.
McCarthy, who is African-American, went before a jury that had only two white members.
McCarthy was once married to Aaron Michaels, founder of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, but they separated before the 1997 murder. He still testified on her behalf. The Anti-Defamation League calls the New Black Panther Party the "largest organized anti-Semitic and racist black organization in America." The new Black Panther Party has no ties to the original.
Of the 290 people on death row in Texas, McCarthy is one of 10 women. She is the only one to have an execution date, however, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She will be the fourth woman to be executed in Texas since the United States re-adopted the death penalty in 1976.
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