Hazelwood woman gets 6-12 years for snatching baby
A Fayette County jury convicted a Hazelwood woman on Thursday for kidnapping a baby after concocting a fake Huggies diaper photo shoot to lure the mother and 3-month-old infant to Uniontown.
Yvonne Ican Bradley, 48, laid her head on the court table and wept as the verdicts were read before President Judge John F. Wagner Jr. She remained in that position as jurors were polled on their guilty verdicts on kidnapping, interference with custody of a child and child endangerment.
In a departure from standard proceedings, Wagner immediately imposed a prison sentence of six to 12 years. When Bradley is released, she will have to register quarterly with state police under the Adam Walsh Act.
Bradley denied kidnapping the child.
“There are a lot of people that know me, who know it was never my intent to hurt anybody,” Bradley said. “I apologize to anybody who's been hurt.”
Police said Bradley approached a mother on a Pittsburgh street and later drove her and the baby to Uniontown on July 9, 2012, under the pretext that the infant would appear in a photo shoot at a Walmart store.
The baby's mother, Jeannine Smith, told jurors that when the three arrived at the Uniontown store on July 9, 2012, Bradley said her baby could not be in the commercial because he had six fingers on each hand.
Smith testified the three spent the night in a Uniontown hotel so the baby could appear in an unrelated movie shoot the next day. The next morning, the mother went to a drugstore and when she returned to the hotel, Bradley and the infant were gone.
As Bradley was led from the courtroom, she said the jury's verdict “was wrong.” She said she was taking the boy to a convenience store to use a phone and to buy milk for him. She said she intended to return to the hotel.
Defense attorney Brian Salisbury unsuccessfully argued that Bradley planned to return, as evidenced by her cellphone and a diaper bag left in the hotel room. Bradley did nothing to disguise herself and was found within a few blocks of the hotel, he said.
“Did she put a wig on?” Salisbury said. “Did she put mittens on the child to try to conceal a recognizable birth defect of the sixth finger? No. She was taking the baby for a walk.”
Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kelley argued that the fact Bradley was found only a short distance from the hotel more than an hour after the baby disappeared was not evidence of innocence.
“A 3-month-old baby can't walk, can't talk, can't feed himself,” Kelley said. “It's a helpless baby. One block from a mother is a substantial distance. This is over an hour. What's she doing? She's disappearing into the streets of Uniontown.”
Kelley said adoption papers Bradley left in the room bore the names of a Suffolk County, Va., couple with the last name of Jennings. She said the papers show Bradley intended to keep the child and take him to that couple.
The jury found Bradley not guilty of unlawful restraint.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.