Two Texas women who hid a Houston boy for eight years have been found guilty of kidnapping and other charges.
Miguel Morin, 8, was eight months old when Krystle Tanner and her mother, Gloria Walker, kidnapped him in 2004.
Tanner, who used to babysit the boy, took Miguel from his Houston apartment. She and Walker would shuffle the boy between homes in Central and East Texas and renamed him Jaquan to avoid detection by authorities, according to the Associated Press.
The two Texas women were caught after Tanner’s newborn son tested positive for marijuana in 2010, which triggered an investigation. Authorities then found the boy who had been hidden for eight years, and Tanner and Walker were arrested in March 2012, the AP reported. They were convicted on Friday.
The boy was put in foster care after authorities found him. A Houston judge later placed Miguel with his four brothers and sisters, who are being cared for by Junita and Joseph Auguillard in Houston, according to the AP. The Houston couple has an agreement with Miguel’s parents to take care of their children.
Defense attorneys asserted that Miguel was not kidnapped. They argued, unsuccessfully, that the boy's mother was sold him to Tanner.
An investigator testified that she did not believe the case involved kidnapping because she thought Miguel’s parents had a custody agreement with Tanner, according to the AP.
Prosecutors disagreed, and San Augustine County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham testified that there was sufficient evidence that proved the boy was kidnapped.
His testimony was backed up by Miguel’s mother, Auboni Champion-Morin, who said Tanner snatched her son. She also claimed the Houston Police Department did not follow up with her on the case.
A jury in San Augustine took just two hours to deliberate before finding the women guilty of kidnapping Friday. They also found Walker guilty of injury to a child and Tanner guilty of reckless injury to a child – a less serious version of injury to a child, the AP reported.
Howard Koplowitz reports on crime and breaking news events for International Business Times. Howard formerly worked on IBT's continuous news desk, where he covered trending...