East McKeesport woman pleads guilty to kidnapping newborn from hospital

The woman accused of kidnapping a 3-day-old baby from Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC nearly two years ago pleaded guilty Monday.

Breona Moore, 21, will be sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Randal B. Todd on June 24.

She has been in custody since her arrest on Aug. 23, 2012.

Although Ms. Moore faces a maximum incarceration of 58 years, the standard guideline range on the kidnaping count is 22 to 36 months, defense attorney Blaine Jones said.

"She was remorseful from the moment I met with her," he said. "We're asking the court to have mercy on her."

Ms. Moore pleaded guilty to all the counts against her, including kidnapping, interference with custody of children, unlawful restraint and related charges. There is no agreement as to sentence.

According to the prosecution, Ms. Moore entered the hospital room of the baby about to be discharged at 12:30 p.m. that day. She told the mother the baby was being taken for a test and that she would be right back, deputy district attorney Jan Necessary said.

Instead, Ms. Moore put the baby inside a zippered bag and walked out of the hospital. Police were able to track her movements through Facebook posts and conversations she had on her cell phone, finding her in an office building along Fourth Avenue about 5:45 p.m., Ms. Necessary said.

When investigators spoke with her, Ms. Moore explained an elaborate plan to steal the baby, including going to a uniform store in Oakland to buy scrubs and stashing a diaper bag in the office building, the prosecutor said.

During the hearing Judge Todd asked specifically about how long the baby was missing, and whether he was all right. Ms. Necessary said the baby was fine when he was found.

Mr. Jones said his client is unable to have children, and that she has an Axis I mental health disorder.

"The confluence of those two things is why we're here talking," he said.

The defense attempted to have Ms. Moore's case transferred to mental health court, but the motion was rejected because of the nature of the charges.

Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter @PaulaReedWard. First Published April 7, 2014 11:38 AM

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