A Florida judge has rejected Gloria Williams’ request to cut her time in prison for kidnapping a baby from a Florida hospital, even though the girl, now 23, has advocated on her behalf.
Williams accepted a plea deal in 2008 for taking Kamiyah Mobley from her mother at UF Health Jacksonville maternity ward in 1998. She asked a judge in December to allow her to serve half of her sentence on probation because of good behavior and personal development.
Mobley told the judge she “wholeheartedly” supports Williams and she needs her “mother home.”
Williams said she takes responsibility for her actions and has become a better person during the four years she’s spent in prison so far.
“There are many things I have learned since coming to the Department of Corrections, but the overall lesson of my incarceration has been one of accountability,” she wrote in a letter to Duval County Circuit Judge Marianne Aho. “I know and understand now that there is a ripple effect, that the consequences of my actions are never mine to suffer alone.”
While Aho ruled that Williams filed the motion too late, she maintained that even if it was on time, she “did not find a basis to undo the original sentencing judges’ decision.”
Williams posed as a nurse and took Mobley away from her mother five hours after she was born.
As for her state of mind at the time of the kidnapping, Williams previously told the court that she “had just suffered a devastating miscarriage and was exhibiting symptoms conducive to postpartum depression, as well as experiencing extreme mental and emotional disturbance. At the time she took the child, she was not in her right state of mind.”
She renamed the girl Alexis Manigo and moved to South Carolina, where she raised Mobley until she was found in 2017.
Mobley, who was 18 at the time, reportedly learned about her abduction a year and a half before Williams’ arrest but did not go to the authorities and tried to delay it. The now 23-year-old woman has stayed in contact with her kidnapper and still considers Williams her “mom.” Mobley told Aho she had a “well-rounded life” with Williams.
“I would like to make it very clear that she is my mother,” Mobley wrote in the letter to the judge. “She raised me, and not only provided for my needs, but she loved me unconditionally.”
“I understand none of this modifies the truth of the past, nor does it justify my mom’s actions in any way,” she continued.
“However, at the end of the day, I love my mother and I wholeheartedly support her! I ask the court’s grace and mercy, as I need my mother home.”
Williams told the judge she has completed character development and faith programs and wants to become a certified peer facilitator. She asked Aho to allow her to serve nine years in prison and the other nine on probation.
In the meantime, Williams said she has kept her distance from Mobley out of respect for her biological family.
Kamiyah Mobley’s attachment to her abductor has caused a strain in her relationship with her biological mother, Shanara Mobley, who once asked Kamiyah to choose between the two women. Recent social media posts show the pair has worked on repairing their relationship, according to First Coast News.
“What I see happening is Kamiyah is bringing her biological family to South Carolina to introduce them and to spend time with my mother (her nana), her sisters, nieces and nephews,” Williams wrote in her motion. “Everyone is coming together to give Kamiyah the best of both worlds and to bring her life into fulfillment.”