By Patrick Wilson The Virginian-Pilot May 9, 2012 NORFOLK A Chesapeake woman who abducted an infant she was caring for, tookhim to Alabama, and then told police the baby had died, wassentenced to 12 years in prison. Jaquissa Bryant, 21, cried as she apologized during a hearing onTuesday in U.S. District Court. She previously pleaded guilty toattempted kidnapping and making a false statement. Bryant was watching a 4-month-old baby for a friend in April 2011in Norfolk when she left town, calling the mother to say she had anemergency in North Carolina and would be back soon. |
She then saidbad weather forced her to stay overnight and then said she had afamily emergency in Alabama and would return with the baby in a fewdays. The mother called Norfolk police. Bryant returned and told policethe baby had died, and she left the body in a garbage bin in SouthCarolina. Her story was so convincing that authorities near Columbia, S.C.,searched garbage bins at a bus depot for an infant's body, saidAssistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Yusi.
But investigators found the baby living with Bryant's family inAlabama; she had told them the baby was hers and even named afather. The baby was returned unharmed. The baby's mother addressed Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith duringthe hearing. The names of the mother and baby were not identifiedin court records. "I trusted the defendant.
That's why I allowed her to watch mychild," she said. She said she couldn't sleep when her son wasmissing. "It was a situation that really changed the dynamics of myfamily," she said. Court records showed that Bryant has lied to family, friends andmedical personnel about pregnancies. She had no criminal record.
"I am very sorry for my role in the crime," Bryant toldthe judge. "This is not the person that I am today." The judge told her she had "a deep-rooted problem" butnow has a chance to get mental health treatment and education.Bryant will be on supervised probation at the end of her prisonsentence. Patrick Wilson, 757-222-3893, email@example.com.
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