Monday, March 31, 2008

Baby Snatcher's Criminal Record May Halt Release

Bob Hazen 03/31/2008 12:09:11

It's a ruling that surprised nearly everyone...a judge has ordered that 39-year-old Jennifer Latham be allowed to leave her Seminole County jail cell as long as she wears a GPS monitor on her ankle. Latham was arrested Friday afternoon on I-4 near Lake Mary after Sanford police say she kidnapped a one-day-old baby from Central Florida Regional Hospital.

"The child was in good shape," says Sanford Police Chief Bryan Tooley. "I want to emphasize, the hospital security did an excellent job in trying to apprehend this woman. She managed to get out the door."

Officials say Latham dressed as a nurse and convinced the newborn's mother that he had to be taken for an eye test. Once Latham had the baby in her arms, she fled the hospital.

The judge based his desicion to let Latham out at least partially on her clean criminal record, but new reports are indicating that her record isn't clean after all. She was apparently arrested for felony theft in Indiana in 2002 under her married name, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

It's unclear at this time if the judge is aware of Latham's previous arrest, or whether it could keep her from being released.

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