JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A young woman kidnapped as a newborn is asking a judge to show mercy to the adult woman who stole -- and raised -- her.
“I need my mother home,” Kamiyah Mobley wrote in support of a motion to reduce Gloria Williams’ prison sentence.
Williams was sentenced to 18 years behind bars in June 2018 for kidnapping Mobley in 1998 – a Jacksonville case that grabbed national headlines. Williams seeks to have that sentence cut in half.
“I have a new perspective on life as a result of my experiences while incarcerated. Rehabilitation within the Department of Corrections comes only to those who sincerely desire to strive for self-betterment and change,” Williams wrote in her motion.
Williams stole Mobley from University Medical Center (now UF Health Jacksonville) in July 1998 while posing as a nurse. She befriended Kamiyah Mobley's mother, Shanara Mobley, who was 15 years old at the time, then stole her baby eight hours after she was born.
The kidnapping sparked a months long manhunt for the child and her abductor – ultimately unsuccessful until January 2017, when police arrested Williams at her home in Walterboro, S.C.
Mobley -- living with the name Alexis Manigo -- was 18 at the time.
Williams pleaded guilty to kidnapping and interference with child custody, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison with. As part of her plea deal, Williams is barred from profiting from her crime while in jail, meaning she cannot sign a book, TV or entertainment deal.
Williams previously told the court that when she committed the crime, 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.”
In her December motion, she cited community service and faith and character classes she has taken while incarcerated.
She also told the judge she is pursuing her master’s degree in Business Administration and has been a model inmate.
“I realize what the devil meant for bad, God is turning it around for his good. As for my daughter, Kamiyah, and the rest of my family, friends and community, they are all still very supportive of me,” Williams wrote.
She told the judge Mobley is still a part of her life and asked the court for her sentence to be reduced to nine years followed by nine years’ probation.
“What I see happening is Kamiyah bringing her biological family to South Carolina to introduce them and to spend time with my mother, her sisters, nieces, and nephews. Everyone is coming together to give Kamiyah the best of both worlds and to bring her life into fulfillment,” Williams wrote the judge.
The filing included a handwritten letter from Mobley which said in part, “I am writing this letter in support of my mother, Gloria Williams. I would like to make it very clear that she is my mother. She raised me, and not only provided for my needs, but she loved me unconditionally.”
She added that she was the person she is “an independent, college-educated, and deeply spiritual person because of all my mom gave me.”
Mobley, in the last sentence of the letter, asked for the court’s grace and mercy stating she needs her mother home.
“I’m not happy about it,” Craig Aiken, Mobley’s biological father told First Coast News when he learned about Williams’ motion to have her sentence reduced. “There is no such thing as a good kidnapper.”
Aiken said he asked the court for an 18-year prison sentence because that is how long his daughter was gone. He still wants Williams to serve her full sentence.
As of now, there has been no decision made on the reduction of Williams’ sentence and no future court dates have been scheduled.