HUNTSVILLE –– Kimberly McCarthy was brought to the Huntsville Unit Tuesday, where on Wednesday night she will become the 500th person the state of Texas has put to death.
She is now in a holding cell next to the death chamber. The 52-year-old was sentenced to death for the 1997 robbery, beating and fatal stabbing of neighbor and retired college psychology professor Dorothy Booth at her Lancaster home.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman John Hurt met with her on Wednesday.
"She was pensive but was cracking jokes with the correctional officers. She was joking but you could tell she was still tense,” Hurt said.
McCarthy has been on Death Row since December 1998.
The year prior, she borrowed a cup of sugar and then beat Booth to death, cutting off her finger for her wedding ring.
Her daughter Donna Aldred previously talked to News 8.
"Every time I held a sharp object I would think about my mother's finger being cut off while she was alive,” she said.
This case was thrust into the spotlight in April when District Attorney Craig Watkins asked for a stay of execution while the legislature considered several bills regarding the death penalty. That was an unusual move for a prosecutor; the victim's family was outraged.
McCarthy has now gone through all of her appeals and will become the 500th person executed in Texas and the first woman executed in the U.S. since 2010. A handful of protesters are expected for the execution.
McCarthy's last meal was pepper steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, mixed vegetables and white cake with chocolate icing. She is expected to make a statement just before she is executed.
Her last few hours will be spent with her spiritual advisor and making phone calls.