The woman charged with strangling an expecting mother and cutting the baby from her womb is deceitful and saw pregnancy as a way to get attention, her ex-husband said.

But Carl Boman (search) said he never thought his ex-wife, Lisa Montgomery (search), was violent or capable of such a horrific crime.

Montgomery, 36, is charged with kidnapping resulting in the death of Bobbie Jo Stinnett, of Skidmore. Federal prosecutors have said Montgomery killed Stinnett on Dec. 16, taking the infant baby from her womb. The girl survived and is at home with her father, who named her Victoria Jo.

"We can paint any picture we want," Boman told The Kansas City Star from his home in Bartlesville, Okla. "She is a chronic liar, very selfish and her self-esteem is very low. She is very critical of others. She is not the kind of person you would want to be friends with. But I'm still shocked."

Court records indicate Montgomery has confessed to the crime. She has not yet entered a plea and will appear Thursday before a federal judge during a detention hearing. Her public defender did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Six days before Stinnett was killed, Boman had filed for custody of two of the four children he had with Montgomery, according to court records. On Monday, Boman, 43, speculated that Montgomery did not want to admit she had lied about being pregnant to her husband, family and friends in Melvern.

"She was faced with the fact she would have had to admit in court she was not pregnant," Boman said. "That is what we were going to use against her for her mental state."

A judge awarded Boman temporary custody of all four children on Dec. 18, pending a hearing next month to make the custody permanent. The oldest child, a high school senior, is living with friends in the Melvern area. The youngest is living out of state, but Boman wouldn't say where or with whom.

The two middle children moved in with their father and his wife last week. Boman would not let them comment about their mother.

"They are holding up as well as can be expected," Boman said. "They are good kids and had no involvement in this. They are not responsible in any way, and I want people to know that."

Boman married Montgomery in 1986 and they had three girls and one boy in less than four years. Montgomery underwent tubal ligation after doctors advised against having more children, and she did not express any particular remorse over the decision, Boman said.

But Montgomery pretended to be pregnant twice in the 1990s, Boman said.

The family moved frequently, living in several towns in Oklahoma as well as in San Diego, New Mexico and Arkansas.

Boman said his wife was untruthful and unfaithful. He filed for divorce in 1993 but the couple reconciled and remarried in 1994 in Arkansas. The marriage again foundered, and in 1998 Montgomery filed for the divorce. Lisa Boman married Kevin Montgomery in 2000.

Kevin Montgomery, who has not been implicated in his wife's alleged crimes, has said he thought she was pregnant.

Boman said neither he nor the children have contacted Montgomery since her arrest. He plans to seek counseling for the family.

"We're going to get out of this and we're going to be better for it," Boman said. "The Stinnett family is where our hearts are. It's a great loss on our side. It's a great loss on that side. Those are the ones we feel for."