It was a grisly scene Lancaster police found on July 22, 1997: Dorothy Booth, a 71-year-old retired psychology professor, stabbed to death on the floor of her dining room stabbed, her left ring finger severed from her hand.
The evidence quickly led police to Kimberly McCarthy, Booth's next-door neighbor. McCarthy, police said, had taken Booth's ring to sell for crack. Immediately after the killing, she drove Booth's white Mercedes station wagon to a drug house, handed over the keys to one of the occupants and told him, according to a Morning News story, "I need some crack bad, give me a bump or something." During her trial, a police officer testified that McCarthy promised to confessed to the murder if he would give her crack.
A jury convicted her of capital murder. She was indicted but not tried for the 1988 murders of Jettie Lucas and Maggie Harding, both 85-year-old friends of McCarthy's mother. Lucas was beaten with a hammer and stabbed to death in her kitchen.
McCarthy's conviction was overturned after an appeals court determined that her confession was obtained illegally after she'd requested a lawyer. She was convicted again and sentenced to the death penalty upon retrial.
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She's been on death row ever since, one of only 10 women awaiting execution in Texas, but she won't be for much longer. McCarthy, now 51, is set to die on Jan. 29, per the Dallas County DA's office. That will leave child killer Darlie Routier as Dallas County's lone female inmate on death row.