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Ohio Woman Guilty of Infant Kidnapping

February 25, 1989

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) _ A secretary who took maternity leave from her job and showed off a newborn infant to co-workers was convicted Friday by a federal court jury of kidnapping the day-old baby from a hospital.

Linda Lou German, 27, of Wheelersburg, Ohio, faces up to life in prison on the kidnapping charge. She was ordered held until a May 1 sentencing hearing.

Defense lawyers argued that Ms. German, who has suffered four miscarriages, was temporarily insane on July 12, 1988, when she dressed as a nurse and stole 1-day-old Lindsey Manns from Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Prosecutors said she told new mother Linda Manns that she needed to take the baby to the nursery to have her picture taken.

Ms. German was arrested two days later when she brought Lindsey back in good health to the hospital, saying she returned her so the hospital could prove the baby was her own.

Jurors deliberated about an hour before reaching the verdict.

Defense attorneys said Ms. German was delusional and claimed she had given birth last July in a Lexington, Ky., hospital. A friend told the jury of Ms. German taking her to the hospital and showing her an empty bassinet.

Ms. German, who worked at a Portsmouth, Ohio, television station as office manager and secretary, took maternity leave and brought the infant to work to show off to her co-workers, her boss testified at the trial.

Mrs. Manns sat with her husband through most of the four-day trial, and expressed relief at the verdict. ″Maybe now we can put it all behind us,″ she said. ″Maybe nobody else will have to go through what we did.″

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