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Baby-kidnapping suspect says she was denied legal representation

Kristen Smith
Kristen Smith

BELOIT, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A woman accused of kidnapping her half-sister's baby near Beloit, and leaving him behind in the cold, now says the F-B-I did not let her have an attorney when she was questioned.

32-year-old Kristen Smith of Aurora Colorado appeared yesterday before federal Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker in Madison. She earlier pleaded innocent to taking Kayden Powell from a home in the town of Beloit in February, and leaving him in blankets in a storage bin behind an Iowa gas station in sub-zero temperatures. She was on her way home to Aurora Colorado at the time.

Yesterday, Smith's lawyer Matt Noel said none of what she told officers in her first day in custody should be used against her in a possible trial, because the F-B-I never read Smith her rights. Smith also contended that her statement to an F-B-I agent was a request for an attorney. The agent reportedly assumed that Smith was saying what she might do if she didn't cooperate.

Assistant U-S Attorney Julie Pfluger said officers read Smith her rights during her arrest, and again during further questioning and a polygraph test. She wanted to place into evidence the polygraph results and two later F-B-I interviews.

Crocker is expected to rule on the matter next month.

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