Charge amended in baby kidnapping case
MADISON—An amended charge in federal court means the woman accused of kidnapping a baby from a town of Beloit home in February would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.
Kristen Smith, also known as Kristen Pearson, 31, of Aurora, Colo., now is charged with kidnapping of a person under age 18 and transporting the victim from Wisconsin to Iowa.
The inclusion of the victim's juvenile status in the charge requires the mandatory minimum sentence, if Smith is convicted. The maximum penalty is life in prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Smith is accused of taking her nephew, 5-day-old Kayden Powell, from a town of Beloit home Feb. 6. The child was found outside an Iowa gas station and survived despite being left in frigid temperatures for more than 24 hours.
Smith was arrested in Iowa the same day and has remained in custody ever since.
Her trial has been set for July 28 before U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson.