The story of a baby who was stolen from her mother 20 years ago is reaching its end.
On June 8, a Florida judge sentenced Gloria Williams of Walterboro, SC to 18 years for kidnapping Kamiyah Mobley.
Williams took Mobley just hours after her birth from a Jacksonville, Florida hospital in 1998. She raised the child, who she named Alexis Kelli Manigo, as her own until the Mobley was 17 years old.
Court documents present a clearer picture of what happened the day of the kidnapping.
According to the documents, Williams dressed as a nurse and visited the hospital room of Shanara Mobley shortly after her baby's birth. Williams told the Mobley, who was 16 at the time, that she needed to take the child's temperature. Williams then took the baby from the hospital in a bag and brought her back to South Carolina.
Kamiyah Mobley found out about her kidnapping when she was 16 after she asked Williams for identifying documents so she could get a new job. Williams confessed her crimes to Mobley. Williams was arrested and charged with kidnapping in 2017.
Williams initially plead not guilty but later changed her plea to guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence.
The court documents also give insight into Williams' motivation for the kidnapping.
According to testimony during her sentencing trial, Williams said she was abused by the man she was with at the time of the crime, and had lost custody of her two sons due to the abuse. In 1998 she became pregnant and said she believed the new child would heal the relationship between her and her partner.
When Williams miscarried, she says she fell into a depression and felt like life was "out of control." According to court records, one day after work, Williams drove from Charleston to Jacksonville "without any plans."
Williams went to the Jacksonville hospital and looked at the babies in the maternity ward before she found the room of Shanara Mobley. She spent hours speaking with Mobley, helping her get cleaned up and speaking with the young woman about her family. When the nurse brought Mobley's baby into the room Williams "thought perhaps this baby would make Mr. Manigo [her romantic partner in SC] happy and bring peace to their home."
Williams testified that she thought Mobley was young and unsure of herself, and that taking the baby "just seemed right."
When sentencing Williams, Judge Marianne Aho weighed the "unusual psychological trauma" suffered by Shanara Mobley stemming from the crime. During the hearing, Mobley said she experienced nightmares, depression, crying spells and thoughts of suicide after the incident. She self-medicated to deal with her emotions, which also caused her to have trouble having relationships.
Kidnapping in the first degree in Florida is punishable with up to life in prison. Judge Aho handed down the lesser sentence giving Williams credit for 511 days served. The judge did not mention the possibly of parole but did say that Williams "may not profit from her crimes while incarcerated."
A statement from Kamiyah Mobley's attorney Justin Bamber read, "The sentencing of Gloria Williams closes a painful chapter for all involved. ... Kamiyah is now processing what it means for the woman she's known as a mother to receive an 18 year prison sentence. However, she understand Gloria had to be held accountable for her actions. She also understands that her biological parents have the absolute right to view today as a joyous day."