UPDATE: Kidnapping Suspect Wails on Stand; Prompts Break

By: AP
By: AP
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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.


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.


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.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The parents of a baby boy who was taken from a Wisconsin home and later found in sub-zero temperatures say they trusted the relative now accused of taking him so much that they initially didn't suspect her.

Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colorado, is charged with kidnapping 4-day-old Kayden Powell Feb. 6 and abandoning him in Iowa. The boy survived.

Smith allegedly took Kayden from her half-sister, Brianna Marshall, and her boyfriend, Bruce Powell, as they slept at Marshall's grandmother's house in the southern Wisconsin town of Beloit. Marshall and Powell both testified Tuesday.

Smith claims she had permission from Kayden's father to take the boy to Colorado.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports prosecutors plan to conclude their case Wednesday.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An FBI expert testifying in the trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him in freezing temperatures says visits to fake pregnancy belly websites were found on computers seized from the woman's home.

Testimony began Monday in the federal kidnapping trial of Kristen Smith, of Aurora, Colorado.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports FBI forensic computer examiner Kelly Kolecheck testified that other websites visited by Smith's computer offered advice on how to get a birth certificate for a newborn and how to breastfeed an adopted baby.

Prosecutors argue that Smith kidnapped days-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where his parents were staying in February. The baby was later found alive in a tote behind a gas station in Iowa.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has been selected in the federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him in freezing temperatures.

Kristen Smith, of Aurora, Colorado, faces one count of kidnapping in federal court. She could face life in prison if convicted by a jury in Madison, Wisconsin.

Prosecutors argue that Smith kidnapped days-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where his parents were staying in February. Police arrested her at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa, later that day but the infant wasn't with her.

The West Branch Police chief discovered Kayden the next morning hidden in a crate behind another gas station about 500 yards from the station where Smith was arrested.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Jury selection has begun in the federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him in freezing temperatures.

Kristen Smith faces one count of kidnapping in federal court. She could face life in prison if convicted. Jury selection began Monday in Madison.

Prosecutors argue Smith kidnapped days-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where his parents were staying in February. Police arrested her at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa, later that day but the infant wasn't with her.

The West Branch Police chief discovered Kayden the next morning hidden in a crate behind another gas station about 500 yards from the station where Smith was arrested.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him in freezing temperatures is about to go to trial.

Kristen Smith faces one count of kidnapping in federal court. Her trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Madison. She could face life if convicted.

Prosecutors believe Smith kidnapped days-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where his parents were staying in February. Police arrested her at a gas station in West Branch, Iowa, later that day but the infant wasn't with her.

The West Branch Police chief discovered Kayden the next morning hidden in a crate behind another gas station about 500 yards from the station where Smith was arrested.


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