Woman to be sentenced for stealing baby

Marcel La Cruz, the woman who grabbed a newborn baby from a 13-year-old mother nearly a year ago pleaded guilty to kidnapping in the High Court yesterday and will be sentenced in another few days.

The woman broke down crying shortly after leaving Justice Winston Patterson’s court where she had minutes earlier changed her plea to guilty. Her family also wept openly.

On Monday last, La Cruz, 25, was indicted on the kidnapping charge for abducting Shevonne Greene’s baby on December 28, 2006. Her trial commenced but a voir dire [trial within a trial] was later conducted to determine the admissibility of a caution statement she gave police.

Yesterday when the state was favoured with an admission of the statement into evidence, La Cruz entered a guilty plea. In the statement, she had explained to police that she had no reason for abducting the baby.

The prosecution led by state counsel Melissa Yearwood-Stewart had contended that on the day in question La Cruz pretended she was working for an organization that could assist Greene and her baby and later ran away with the child.

Greene, who was 13 years at the time of the abduction, reportedly met La Cruz at the Georgetown Public Hospital. La Cruz befriended the young mother and led her to believe that she could help her get assistance. On the day the child was snatched, La Cruz gave Greene some money to purchase clothes for the child and used the opportunity when the mother left to flee with the baby.

The child was later found at La Cruz’s East Bank Demerara home. La Cruz was taken into custody and subsequently charged with child stealing. At the conclusion of her preliminary inquiry earlier this year, the magistrate found that there was sufficient evidence for a High Court trial.

La Cruz was represented by attorney-at-law, Ronald Burch-Smith.

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