Judge rules woman who kidnapped newborn and raised her as her own will not receive reduced sentence despite victim’s desperate plea


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A Florida judge has turned down Gloria Williams’ request to have her time in prison shortened for the kidnapping of a baby from a Florida hospital, though the now 23-year-old girl has argued on her behalf.

Williams accepted a 2008 plea deal to take Kamiyah Mobley from her mother in the maternity ward at UF Health Jacksonville in 1998. She asked a judge in December to allow her to serve half her sentence on probation because of good behavior and personal development.

Mobley told the judge she supports Williams “wholeheartedly” and that she needs her “mother house”.

Gloria Williams asked a judge in Duval County to reduce her 18-year sentence for kidnapping a girl and raising her as her own child. (First Coast News screenshot)

Williams said she takes responsibility for her actions and has become a better person in the four years she has spent in prison so far.

“There are many things I’ve learned since I came to the Department of Corrections, but the general lesson from my incarceration was one of responsibility,” she wrote in a letter to Duval County Circuit Judge Marianne Aho. “I now know and understand that there is a ripple effect, that the consequences of my actions are never mine to suffer alone.”

While Aho ruled that Williams filed the motion too late, she claimed that, even if it was timely, she “found no basis for overturning the judges’ original conviction”.

Williams pretended to be a nurse and took Mobley away from her mother five hours after she was born.

As for her state of mind at the time of the kidnapping, Williams previously told the court that she had “just had a devastating miscarriage and exhibited symptoms conducive to postpartum depression, as well as extreme mental and emotional disturbances. At the time she took the child, she was not in her right frame of mind.”

She named the girl Alexis Manigo and moved to South Carolina, where she raised Mobley until she was found in 2017.

Mobley, who was 18 at the time, reportedly learned about her kidnapping a year and a half before Williams’ arrest, but did not go to authorities and tried to delay it. The now 23-year-old woman has remained in contact with her kidnapper and still considers Williams her “mother.” Mobley told Aho she had a “well-rounded life” with Williams.

“I want to make it very clear that she is my mother,” Mobley wrote in the letter to the judge. “She raised me and not only took care of my needs, but she loved me unconditionally.”

“I understand that none of this changes the truth of the past, nor does it justify my mother’s actions in any way,” she continued.

“But in the end I love my mother and support her wholeheartedly! I ask the court for mercy and mercy, because I need my mother at home.”

Williams told the judge she has completed character development and faith programs and wants to become a certified peer facilitator. She asked Aho to allow her to serve nine years in prison and the other nine on probation.

In the meantime, Williams said she has kept her distance from Mobley out of respect for her biological family.

Kamiyah Mobley’s attachment to her captor has led to a strain in her relationship with her birth mother, Shanara Mobley, who once asked Kamiyah to choose between the two women. Recent social media posts show that the couple has been working on mending their relationship, according to First Coast News.

“What I see happening is Kamiyah bringing her biological family to South Carolina to introduce them and spend time with my mother (her grandmother), her sisters, nieces and nephews,” Williams wrote in her motion. “Everyone comes together to give Kamiyah the best of both worlds and make her life come true.”

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