In 1854, Dallas County executed its first woman by hanging, and after 158 years, another Texas death row inmate will be the second woman in Dallas County history to be executed for the brutal murder of a Lancaster woman.
Kimberly Lagayle McCarthy, now 51, faces execution for the murder of 71-year-old Dorothy Booth, a retired El Centro College psychology professor, who was found dead on her dining room floor in July 1997.
On Aug. 15, the state of Texas filed a motion to execute McCarthy Jan. 29, 2013, and she can petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. The deadline is October 9, 2012.
In 1997, McCarthy entered the home of Booth stating she wanted to borrow some sugar, and then stabbed the victim five times. At some point during the assault, she hit Booth in the face with a candelabrum, and then cut off Booth’s left finger to take her diamond wedding ring.
Later, McCarthy left with Booth’s purse and Mercedes-Benz and drove to a crack house where she attempted to buy crack cocaine. It was also revealed that McCarthy “pawned Booth’s wedding ring for $200, and used the victim’s credit card at least four times on the day after the murder, ” according to a fifth circuit court document (Section No. 11-70019).
A Dallas County jury convicted McCarthy of capital murder for killing Booth in the course of committing robbery.
During the sentencing phase, prosecutors also introduced evidence accusing McCarthy of killing two other women – Maggie Harding, 81, and Jettie Lucas, 85. Investigators said Harding was attacked with a meat tenderizer and knives, and Lucas was beaten with a claw hammer and stabbed with knives, according the Houston Chronicle archives.
McCarthy was first sentenced to death on Nov. 24, 1998. However, the Court of Criminal Appeal reversed the first conviction and sentence, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s office re-tried the case.
Click to view McCarthy’s Appeal History (COURT DOCUMENT)
As of 2012, Darlie Routier is the only other woman from Dallas County sentenced to death in Texas convicted for killing her two sons.
Click to view the list of other women on Texas death row.
The state of Texas executed only four other women before Kimberly McCarthy:
Jane Elkins – 1854 – Dallas County (first black woman)
Karla Faye Tucker – Feb 3 1998 – Houston (first white woman since 1863)
Betty Lou Beets – Feb 24, 2000 – Henderson County (white woman)
Frances Newman – Sept. 14, 2005 – Houston (second black woman in Texas to be executed)
Click to view Dallas County execution history.