CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A woman whose mother abducted her as an infant and took her overseas more than 20 years ago stood in a courtroom Tuesday, fighting back tears, and told a judge she has had a good life even though she didn't know her birth father growing up.
By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A woman accused of kidnapping her infant daughter from South Carolina in 1994 and living overseas with her for nearly two decades was sentenced to 21 months in a U.S. prison on Tuesday. Dorothy Lee Barnett, 54, who was arrested in 2013 in Australia and extradited in September to Charleston, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to federal charges of international parental kidnapping and falsifying passports. Prosecutors have said Barnett vanished with her baby girl during a court-approved visit in South Carolina after her ex-husband, Benjamin Harris Todd, was granted legal custody of their child in a contentious divorce. Barnett moved overseas, remarried and changed her name to Maria Geldenhuys, according to court records.
By Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - A jury intently watched the videotaped confession on Tuesday of a man accused of murdering Etan Patz in 1979 and heard him say he choked the 6-year-old boy and "just couldn't let go." In the courtroom, Pedro Hernandez, 54, saw himself on a large screen near the jury tell law enforcement he lured the boy to the basement of the Soho deli where he worked, strangled him, placed him in a box and dumped the body in an alley. He said, 'Yeah,' so I told him to go to the basement," Hernandez said under questioning by Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Armand Durastanti. He described Patz as blonde, wearing a little jacket and carrying a book bag and said he strangled the boy. I felt like something just took over me, and I was choking him," Hernandez said on the videotape. "He was still gasping," Hernandez said on the videotape.
A hospital worker has been charged with the murder of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, whose disappearance shocked the campus and drew national headlines, authorities said on Tuesday. Jesse Matthew Jr., 33, of Charlottesville, Virginia, was indicted by an Albemarle County grand jury last week. He was the last person seen with Graham, an 18-year-old sophomore, who went missing in September. Matthew has been charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile, Albemarle County prosecutor Denise Lunsford said.