A woman convicted of kidnapping her infant nephew and leaving him outside in a plastic storage bin in frigid temperatures has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson imposed the sentence Monday on 31-year-old Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colorado. Smith was found guilty on July 31, after a four-day trial in U.S. District Court in Madison.
Smith was accused of taking then five-day old Kayden Powell in the middle of the night last February, then leaving the infant in a storage bin behind a gas station in Iowa before she was taken into police custody. The police chief in West Branch, Iowa found Kayden more than a day later unharmed, despite the sub-zero temperatures outside.
At the trial, the evidence showed that Smith faked a pregnancy and kidnapped the infant with the intent to take him back to Colorado and claim him as her child. The jury reached their verdict after less than three hours of deliberation.
In sentencing Smith, Judge Peterson called her a liar and said, “You would have let the baby die rather than admit you had taken him.”
United States Attorney Vaudreuil said, “Kristen Smith left a baby outside in bitterly cold temperatures and for over 24 hours denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. Her callous disregard for this child’s life merits this long prison sentence.”