US woman gets 8 years for plot to steal baby
From Associated Press
August 27, 2008 1:01 PM EDT
Missouri - A 20-year-old woman who kidnapped a pregnant teenager she
met online in a foiled plot to steal her unborn baby has been sentenced
to eight years in prison.
Lauren Gash, of Odessa, pleaded guilty
last month to kidnapping, assault and felonious restraint in the July
2007 attack on Amanda Howard, then 18, inside a Blue Springs motel room.
Howard, now Amanda Culley, was
pregnant, single and unemployed when two women she met on the Internet
lured her from her home with promises that they would drive her to get
Culley got into the car with Gash and
co-defendant Alisa D. Betts, of Atchison, Kansas, but soon realized
something was wrong, police have said.
The pair sprayed Culley with pepper
spray and drove her to a motel room where Gash and Betts had set out
scissors, a sheet of plastic and a multipurpose fishing tool, along
with diapers, a blanket and a fake birth certificate.
"The motel room basically was set up
for surgery to take place," assistant Jackson County prosecutor Traci
Stansell said Tuesday at Gash's sentencing hearing according to The
Kansas City Star.
Prosecutors say Betts got cold feet
and called police. The officers who came to the motel thought they were
checking on a distressed pregnant woman and became suspicious when they
saw the duct tape around Culley's neck and in her hair.
Before the attack, Gash had registered
at Babies "R" Us, held a baby shower and wore maternity clothes,
prosecutors said. She also told relatives that she had given birth to a
Culley gave birth to a son two days after the attack. Betts is set to go on trial in October.
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