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Kidnapping trial: suspect claims she had permission to take 5-day-old baby

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A woman who's on trial for kidnapping her newborn nephew near Beloit claimed she had permission to take the infant. Matthew Noel, the defense attorney for Kristen Smith, told jurors yesterday that the baby's father allowed her to take young Kayden Powell to her home near Denver. Noel said both parents were about to move to Colorado to start a new life. He made the remark in an opening statement in Smith's federal court trial in Madison on a kidnapping charge.

Federal prosecutor Julie Pfluger said in her opening statement Smith didn't have the baby -- and denied knowing where he was -- when police stopped her in Iowa on an outstanding warrant from Texas. He was found the next day in a crate outside a gas station in sub-freezing temperatures. Kayden survived that ordeal.

The F-B-I called its first witnesses who said Smith applied for a birth certificate that was found in her home undated -- and her computer indicated that Smith looked at Web sites about having fake pregnancy bellies, and advice on how to breast-feed an adopted baby. Smith's trial is expected to continue throughout the week.

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