Nation roundup for February 9
Baby stolen after faked pregnancy
TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — An hour after a woman reported her newborn son missing from a Wisconsin home, police were questioning her step-sister — found with a prosthetic pregnancy belly, baby clothes and a stroller, but no baby, according to court documents.
It was more than 24 hours after Kayden Powell went missing before authorities discovered the infant, less than a week old, in a plastic storage crate outside an Iowa gas station, miraculously alive and well despite frigid temperatures.
Kristen Smith of Denver had pretended to be pregnant, went to Wisconsin and stole her step-sister’s baby from his bassinet as his parents slept, court documents say. Then, as police closed in on her, she allegedly abandoned the infant, who was swaddled in blankets.
Federal prosecutors in Madison charged Smith with kidnapping Friday afternoon, hours after an Iowa police chief found Kayden.
“He’s strong,” the newborn’s great-uncle, Mark Bennett, said of the boy. “I’m glad that baby is still living instead of in a ditch somewhere on a strange highway.”
The discovery of the infant shortly after 10 a.m. Friday capped a frantic search that involved police officers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.
Allen fires back over abuse claims
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a nearly 2,000-word open letter punctuated with rhetorical questions and decades-old anecdotes, notoriously media-shy Woody Allen again defended himself against renewed claims that he molested adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow 21 years ago.
Allen’s response was published online Friday night by The New York Times, nearly a week after the same publication released an open letter from Dylan Farrow in which she claimed that in 1992 at the family’s Connecticut home, Allen led her to a “dim, closet-like attic” and “then he sexually assaulted me.” Dylan Farrow didn’t specify Allen’s actions, but described other abusive behavior.
“Of course, I did not molest Dylan,” Allen wrote. “I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being.”
Allen was investigated for the alleged molestation, but was never charged.
UFC fighter faces threat allegation
MIAMI (AP) — An Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter was being held in a Florida jail Saturday, accused of threatening his wife with a gun, authorities said.
Broward County jail records show that Thiago Silva, 31, was being held without bond following his arrest Thursday on charges that included attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and obstruction without violence.
But his attorney, Scott Saul, told the Associated Press that the charges were downgraded during a Friday court appearance to aggravated assault with a firearm and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Saul said he entered a not guilty plea on Silva’s behalf. Authorities said Silva took a gun to a mixed martial arts academy in Oakland Park and threatened to shoot his estranged wife, Thaysa, and her now-boyfriend, who called police and Silva drove away.
Authorities tracked him down to his home where he was holed up for hours until he surrendered. Authorities used a stun gun on him before he was taken into custody.
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