Florida

'No winners and losers': 'Mama' sentenced to 18 years for kidnapping baby 20 years ago

In this undated photo made available by Bamberg Legal, Kamiyah Mobley, left, takes a selfie with Gloria Williams. Mobley was kidnapped from a Florida hospital as an infant and raised by Williams in South Carolina under the name Alexis Manigo.
In this undated photo made available by Bamberg Legal, Kamiyah Mobley, left, takes a selfie with Gloria Williams. Mobley was kidnapped from a Florida hospital as an infant and raised by Williams in South Carolina under the name Alexis Manigo. AP

Kamiyah Mobley was 18 in 2016 when she found out the woman she had called her mother her whole life was actually her kidnapper.

Mobley, who was raised in South Carolina as Alexis Manigo, was kidnapped from a Jacksonville hospital on July 10, 1998. Gloria Williams posed as a hospital nurse and took the 8-pound-, 2-ounce infant from her mother's arms and drove away to a new life in South Carolina.

On Wednesday, a Jacksonville judge sentenced Williams, 52, to 18 years in prison on the kidnapping charge. Williams pleaded guilty in a South Carolina courtroom to the charge in February and had accepted a plea agreement. She received one year for each year she kept the child away from her birth parents, Mobley and Craig Aiken.

"There are no winners and no losers in this case," Circuit Judge Marianne Aho said as she pronounced the sentence at 10:45 a.m. "It's a very sad case and many people have suffered, including Ms. Williams."

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Gloria Williams testifies on the second day of her sentencing hearing Friday, May 4, 2018, at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Will Dickey The Florida Times-Union/AP


Mobley, who has since changed back to her birth name, had urged the court to be lenient, News 4 Jax reported. At a hearing in May, she called out "Mama" after Williams confessed to the judge.

Her birth mother, Shanara Mobley, wanted the longest sentence possible. "I'm still hurting when you're reaching out to my child. This is my child. I am your mother Kamiyah! I am your mother,” she cried out in a downtown Jacksonville court during a hearing in May, News 4 Jax reported.

"I missed the first walk, first word, graduating, prom — I missed all that," Mobley told the judge, The Post & Courier reported.

In a separate interview with Kamiyah Mobley, The Post & Courier reported that after learning the truth about her identity and meeting her birth mother, she began calling Shanara Mobley "Mom." She still called Williams "Mama."

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Shanara Mobley, mother of Kamiyah Mobley, cries before the sentencing hearing for Gloria Williams on May 3, 2018, at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Will Dickey The Florida Times-Union/AP

Williams apologized to both Mobleys — mother and daughter.

"I know I wronged you and I'm so sorry, and so many days, so many days, so many days I just wanted to pick that child up and say, 'Get in the car. Let's go.' I just couldn't, News 4 Jax reported.

Shanara Mobley had no comment when she left the courtroom, an Action News Jax reporter tweeted.

In a statement released to Action News Jax, Aiken agreed with the judge's winners and losers comment.

"I knew walking into [court] this morning that there would be no winners in this situation. Despite today's sentence I would like to deal with the emotional toll this ordeal has taken on my family. At this time, I choose to remain focused on mending my family together through this situation."

Aiken went on to thank the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which had gotten involved in the case years ago. "Hopefully we can bring home more kids," he said in his statement. "Hopefully this situation helps other parents to get through their situation with their kidnapped kids and stuff like that."

As part of her sentencing, Williams had to agree to not profit from her crime.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.
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