On Tuesday, Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled to become the first woman since 2010 to die by lethal injection in the United States, the punishment for killing her elderly Lancaster neighbor more than a decade ago.
On July 21, 1997, McCarthy lured her way into Dorothy Booth’s home next door by asking to borrow a cup of sugar. At her trial, investigators presented evidence that McCarthy beat the 71-year-old woman with a candelabra, and then cut off her finger to steal her wedding ring.
“Of course Dorothy Booth opened her door. It was her neighbor coming over,” said Dallas County prosecutor Shelly O’Brien Yeatts. “She entered her home and stabbed her five times and killed her."
McCarthy, a college graduate who worked as an occupational therapist, was addicted to crack cocaine.
“Immediately after the murder, she hocked the wedding ring... went to a pawn shop and hocked it, and went to a crack house and tried to buy crack. She was a crack addict,” Yeatts said.
After police arrested her for Booth's murder, Dallas police came forward with two other cases from 1988. In both those cases, the women were also stabbed and robbed. Police linked McCarthy to the murders.
One of the victims was her mother's best friend.
"So during the investigation, the police department went in and looked at those two scenes and discovered there was blood evidence at both those scenes not belonging to victims, that did belong to Kimberly McCarthy,” Yeatts said.
McCarthy was convicted in 1998 for Booth's murder. The victims’ families wept after the verdict.
“My mother was an advocate of the death penalty for heinous crime,s and I feel this is what my mother would have wanted," said Donna Aldred, Booth’s daughter.
McCarthy's conviction was overturned in 2001, but a year later she was once again convicted and sentenced to die for Booth's murder. The case has worked its way through the appeals process, but on Tuesday night, McCarthy will die by lethal injection at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville.
Booth's daughter, Donna Aldred, won't attend the execution. She did give News 8 a letter she wrote for her mother. It reads:
"Already I miss you so much and your painful death is more than I can bear. I will love you forever. I have had more than my share of blessings and tragedies and there is wisdom that comes from understanding both."