Kamiyah Mobley’s kidnapping and a criminal trial two decades in the making are coming to a close, as the sentencing hearing for Gloria Williams, the woman who abducted Kamiyah as a newborn in 1998 and raised her as her own, is into its second day in Duval County, Florida.
In February, Williams pled guilty to the charges against her. During her testimony Friday, Williams is reported to have spoken of a journey from Waterboro, South Carolina, at a time when her life was “spiraling out of control at the time, fueled by depression and heartbreak over an abusive relationship and a miscarriage,” according to News 4 Jax. When she arrived in Gainesville, she went to University Hospital where, dressed as a nurse, kidnapped baby Kamiyah Mobley, just eight hours after her birth.
“It definitely wasn’t logical, but for what I was thinking at that time, it seemed right. It seemed right.”
The case came back to life when Kamiyah, at age 18, went to get a driver’s license, only to find she lacked a proper birth certificate.
Kamiyah’s mother, Shanara Mobley, testified Thursday as part of the sentencing hearing, telling the court she wished Williams could be put to death for the crime.
“I am your mother, Kamiyah, ” Shanara exclaimed from the witness stand, with tears streaming down her face.
She had words for Williams as well.
“She preyed on a child with a baby. We wouldn’t be here right now if I was a grown woman. Because I was young she came in and preyed on a child.”
Shanara Mobley’s emotional proclamation came, perhaps, in response to the testimony the child she birthed offered in defense of the woman who abducted and raised her. As the New York Daily News reports, Kamiyah, who’s only ever known the name Alexis Manigo, defended Williams, even referring to her as her “mother.”
“My mother raised me with everything I needed and most of all everything I wanted,” Alexis posted on social media. “My mother is no felon.”
During her testimony, Williams spoke directly to Shanara Mobley, conceding her wrongdoing and expressing contrition for the effect her actions had on Mobley’s life.
“I know you hate me right now,” Williams said. “… I hope you can find it in your heart to one day forgive me.”