A South Carolina woman was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison for kidnapping a baby from a Florida hospital in 1998 and raising the newborn as her own until she was caught last year.
Gloria Williams, 52, who kidnapped Kamiyah Mobley, now 19, when she was just about eight hours old, raised her as Alexis Manigo until she was caught in January of 2017 and extradited back to Jacksonville to face charges.
Williams pleaded guilty to a charge of kidnapping and a charge of interfering with custody in February and apologized to Mobley’s parents for stealing their daughter during her sentencing hearing in May.
Circuit Judge Marianne Aho handed down an 18-year sentence, saying the time reflects how long Kamiyah Mobley's parents were without their child.
"It's a very sad case, and many people have suffered," Circuit Judge Marianne Aho said before sentencing Williams.
Mobley's father Craig Aiken thanked God for the safe return of his child and the Jacksonville community for its support, but said there were no winners in the case. Aiken said he plans to concentrate on his family.
“I would like to deal with the emotional toll this ordeal has taken on my family. At this time, I choose to remain focused on mending my family together through this situation,” he said.
His mother Velma Aiken, Kamiyah Mobley’s grandmother, also spoke with the media.
“Thank God and we’re glad it’s over with where I can start my grandmama days and love my grandbaby,” she said.
It’s unclear if Mobley will be able to contact Williams while she’s incarcerated. Prosecutor Alan Mizrahi said he doesn’t believe there’s any legal prohibition for their contact.
Carson said Williams waived her right to appeal the sentence after she pleaded guilty to both charges back in February.
Law and Safety expert Dale Carson said it’s possible Williams could get out of prison sooner depending on her behavior.
“Typically in a circumstance like this, she’ll serve 85 percent of the time -- or roughly 15 years. Still that’s a long time to be in custody,” said Carson.
Following the sentencing, Shanara Mobley, Kamiyah Mobley's mother, was visibly relieved. She smiled and hugged the person sitting next to her.
Williams kidnapped Mobley when she just eight hours old and took her back to Ruffin, South Carolina, where she grew up.
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