Kidnapping defendant wails on stand, prompts break

CREATED Jul 30, 2014

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her half-sister's newborn in Wisconsin and abandoning him in Iowa has been halted briefly after the defendant began sobbing uncontrollably on the witness stand.

Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colorado, testified Wednesday that she took the baby at the father's urging, since the parents were planning to move in with her.
   
Under cross-examination, she had trouble answering even simple questions. She said she didn't know where she was born, whether she had any previous convictions or whether she lived in Wisconsin in 2010.
   
Frustrated prosecutors held a private meeting with the judge and defense attorney, while Smith sat with her sweater covering her eyes. Before questioning resumed she asked for a break, then began wailing as jurors were led from the courtroom.