GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — MLive reports that jury selection has begun in the trial of a New Jersey woman who is charged with kidnapping a 3-year old girl from a school bus, and, according to court records, her attorney is planning an insanity defense.
Marian Moussa allegedly claimed she was the mother of the girl, a special-needs student, so she could remove her from a bus on Jan. 14, 2013. The bus driver, who was taking the child home from Ridgemoor Park Child Development Center, said he called his supervisor and, due to a paperwork error, the child was released to Moussa, according to the news outlet. When the girl’s parents realized she had not come home as usual, they called the police while searching for her.
More than three hours later, Moussa called Grand Rapids Police and met them at a church parking lot. The child and Moussa were then taken into custody. As she was being arrested, police told MLive, Moussa screamed obscenities at police and told them she was concerned that the child’s backpack contained a bomb. Moussa’s attorney contends she tried to contact authorities earlier to return the child, but no clear rationale for why she allegedly took the child has been given, according to the news outlet.
In January, according to MLive, Moussa turned down a prosecution offer to plead guilty to unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest, which carries a maximum 15-year prison term. A kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted, according to the news outlet.
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