No Child Left Behind

It was a big story early this summer that has since been forgotten: a rich woman from around these parts and her cousin are in Los Angeles, see a 17-year-old mother and her baby and offer the mother $6,000 for the kid. The mother refuses. The two women come back a second time and make another offer. Again, the mother says, Thanks, but not so much. Then the two women stop asking and start taking; they grab the baby from its mother and bring it back to Dallas, where they finally give the child to their attorney, who then informs the FBI what's happened. Sort of.

On May 24, Annette Pinkard, always described in news reports as a "a 47-year-old real estate professional from the Dallas area," and her cousin, Sylvia Maria Wilson-Hardman, were arrested at Pinkard and her husband's home in Midlothian, described by the Associated Press in June as "a sprawling, manor-style home with a three-car garage, circular driveway and backyard pool." Their Dallas attorney, Scottie Allen, kept insisting to authorities that the mother back in L.A. had given the women the kid and some signed paperwork to go along with it. Only, the mother had given the women no such thing.

The story kinda disappeared for a while; there's been no mention of Pinkard and Wilson-Hardman for a few months, since they were extradited to California to face kidnapping charges. Well, comes word today that Pinkard and Wilson-Hardman ain't coming back to Texas any time soon--say, for two years, more or less. Yesterday, according to The Los Angeles Times, the two women were sentenced to two years in California state prison after pleading no contest to child stealing. By pleading no contest, they got off light: Up on four charges--kidnapping, conspiracy, child stealing and attempting to buy custody of a person--they would have gone to prison for at least 13 years had they gone to trial and been found guilty. --Robert Wilonsky

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