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Woman convicted of baby-kidnapping

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-WRN) A jury in federal court has found a Colorado woman guilty of kidnapping her newborn nephew from a home in Beloit earlier this year.

It only took the jury in Madison about three hours on Thursday to return a guilty verdict against 31-year-old Kristen Smith. The Aurora, Colorado woman was accused of taking then five-day old Kayden Powell in the middle of the night last February, then leaving the infant in a storage bin behind a gas station in Iowa before she was taken into police custody. The child was found more than a day later unharmed, despite the sub-zero temperatures outside.

Smith took the stand in her own defense during the trial, claiming that Kayden’s father had given her permission to take the boy to Colorado and that the parents planned to join her there at a later date. Bruce Powell, the father, denied that had ever happened.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil says he believes justice was done and that the jury returned a “fair and just verdict” in the case.

Kayden was in court with his parents Thursday when the verdict was read. His mother, Brianna Marshall, says “it was like torture all over again” to be in court this week and hear the evidence presented. Still, she expressed relief to have the trial completed. Six months later, she says Kayden is strong, healthy, and almost crawling.

Smith faces 25 years to life in prison when she’s sentenced in October. Her attorney says they do plan to ask for a new trial and will appeal the jury’s decision.