NEW INFORMATION: Kidnapping defendant wails on stand, prompts break

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her half-sister's newborn in Wisconsin and abandoning him in Iowa has been halted briefly after the defendant began sobbing uncontrollably on the witness stand.

Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colorado, testified Wednesday that she took the baby at the father's urging, since the parents were planning to move in with her.

Under cross-examination, she had trouble answering even simple questions. She said she didn't know where she was born, whether she had any previous convictions or whether she lived in Wisconsin in 2010.

Frustrated prosecutors held a private meeting with the judge and defense attorney, while Smith sat with her sweater covering her eyes. Before questioning resumed she asked for a break, then began wailing as jurors were led from the courtroom.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her half-sister's newborn in Wisconsin and abandoning him in Iowa says she took the 4-day-old at the father's request.

Kristen Smith also testified Wednesday that when she left him behind an Iowa gas station in a plastic tote in freezing temperatures, she made sure his electric blanket was plugged in.

Smith says when she left about 2 a.m. on Feb. 6, the groggy father asked her to take the baby with her. She says she complied because the parents would soon be moving in with her.

She says she left the baby outdoors after a phone call with an officer who wanted her to pull over so police could search her vehicle. She says she was sleep-deprived and not thinking straight.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The prosecution has rested in the federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her half-sister's newborn in Wisconsin and abandoning the baby in Iowa.

One of the prosecution's last witnesses in Kristen Smith's trial Wednesday was FBI special agent Jodi Jewett.

She said she was with the parents of the infant, Kayden Powell, in Wisconsin when a colleague texted a photo of the child who had been found behind a gas station in frigid temperatures in West Branch, Iowa.

Jewett said she showed the photo to Kayden's mother, who started crying. She said the child's father jumped up and hugged the agent.

Smith is charged with kidnapping the 4-day-old baby in the Town of Beloit on Feb. 6. Police found Kayden alive and well 29 hours later.


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