Lavinia Burnett was the first woman executed by the state of Arkansas in 1845. She was accused and convicted of the murder of a neighbor who was known to have large sums of cash in his home. Like most women on death row ever since, Lavina did not murder Johnathon Sibley. Her son John and her nephew were the killers but Lavinia and her husband Crawford knew about and went to participate.
Lavinia’s daughter told authorities of the plan the rest of her family was involved in. Her mother and father were arrested immediately but brother John stayed on the lamb for a while. Lavinia and John were hung from the gallows where the National Cemetery is now in Fayetteville, Arkansas. John was soon caught and followed his parents to the gallows.
Lavinia, in 1845, was the only woman Arkansas killed until 2000 when they executed Christina Riggs.