‘I Will Always Love You but You’re Not Mine’: Woman who Stole Newborn and Raised her as her Own for 17 Years Apologizes to the Teen and her Biological Parents at Sentencing Hearing

A woman who kidnapped a newborn at a Jacksonville hospital 20 years ago and raised the baby girl as her own apologized to her and her biological parents during an emotional sentencing hearing Friday. The sentencing hearing for 52-year-old Gloria Williams was stretching into its second day in a Jacksonville courtroom Friday when Williams took the stand, WJAX’s Christy Turner reports via Twitter. 

Williams posed as a nurse at the hospital’s maternity ward in 1998 when she approached Shanara Mobley eight hours after her daughter, Kamiyah Mobley, was born. She took the baby and disappeared.

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Gloria Williams at her sentencing hearing in a Jacksonville courtroom May 4, 2018

 WJAX REPORTER CHRISTY TURNER VIA TWITTER

Williams took Kamiyah to South Carolina, where she raised her as Alexis Manigo. The ruse began falling apart two years ago when the girl tried to get a driver’s license but didn’t have a valid birth certificate.

Williams was arrested in 2017 and pleaded guilty to kidnapping in March. Judge Mariane Aho could give Williams 22 years. Prosecutors argued that Williams abducted the girl in a cold and calculated manner and the crime continued for 18 years, while her defense attorneys said she has no other criminal history and plans to continue her education upon her release.

After hearing their arguments, a judge set a sentencing imposition date for June 8.

Williams apologized to Kamiyah, now 20, who was sitting in the courtroom.

“I never meant to hurt you. I never meant to cause you any harm, any pain, any of that. I’m sorry,” Williams said. “I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I tried to love you the best way I could.”

Kamiyah Mobley, left, and Gloria Williams

Kamiyah Mobley, left, and Gloria Williams

Williams also apologized to Kamiyah’s parents, who gave emotional testimony Thursday, saying the abduction “destroyed” them. She asked for their forgiveness.

“I know I can’t give you back the 18 years,” Williams said. “If I could, I would.”

Williams testified that her relationship with Charles Manigo, the man Kamiyah Mobley believed to be her father, was abusive and that she had suffered a miscarriage before the abduction.

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SOURCE: CBS/AP