UPDATED Thursday July 31, 2014 -- .
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A jury has convicted a woman of kidnapping her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him outside an Iowa gas station in freezing temperatures.
Kristen Smith was convicted Thursday of kidnapping, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
The 31-year-old woman testified she took the boy in February at the father's request. She said the parents were planning to come live with her in Colorado.
The Aurora, Colorado, woman says she ditched the 4-day-old baby outside of a gas station in a moment of panic as police closed in on her. The baby survived, despite spending 29 hours in frigid temperatures.
Prosecutors dismissed Smith's explanation as ludicrous. They said Smith stole the baby to try to pass him off as her own.
Copyright Associated Press 2014
MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Federal prosecutors in Madison have filed a new indictment against the Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her 5-day-old nephew from Wisconsin and leaving him overnight in freezing temperatures outside an Iowa gas station.
Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colorado, was previously charged with kidnapping Kayden Powell from a Town of Beloit home in February.
The new indictment Wednesday specifies that the victim was under the age of 18, a fact that triggers a mandatory minimum penalty. If convicted, she'd now spend 25 years to life in a federal prison.
A message left with her defense attorney, Matt Noel, was not immediately returned.
Smith was arrested in West Branch, Iowa, on Feb. 6. The child survived despite being left in frigid temperatures for more than 24 hours.
Smith's trial starts July 28.
UPDATED Wednesday, June 25, 2014 ---
She's accused of kidnapping a baby and if convicted she'll spend a minimum of 25 years behind bars.
Today a Western District of Wisconsin federal grand jury indicted Kristen Smith again, saying this time since the child was younger than 18, a conviction triggers a mandatory 25-year sentence.
Smith is accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew back in February from his home in the Town of Beloit.
The baby was found outside a gas station in Iowa where Smith was arrested.
She faces state charges as well.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A woman accused of abducting her newborn nephew in Wisconsin and abandoning him outside a gas station in Iowa has pleaded not guilty to a federal kidnapping charge.
Prosecutors say Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colo., kidnapped four-day-old Kayden Powell from the Town of Beloit home where the boy's parents were staying earlier this month.
Police arrested her at an Iowa gas station hours later and discovered the baby in a crate outside another nearby gas station the next morning. The child was alive and well despite being left in frigid temperatures for more than 24 hours.
A federal grand jury indicted her on a kidnapping count last week. She pleaded not guilty to the charge on Wednesday.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker scheduled her trial to begin on June 23.