Charges Dismissed in Mall Kidnapping Case

Charges Dismissed in Mall Kidnapping Case

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Charges against two of the three people accused of kidnapping a child from the ZCMI Mall Food Court in January were dismissed when the baby's mother again failed to appear in court to testify.

The mother, Jennifer Triplett, also failed to appear at a preliminary hearing scheduled on April 3. Prosecutors said Triplett knew of Thursday's hearing and had promised a police detective she would appear.

Cassandra Gonzales, 19, burst into tears when 3rd District Judge William Barrett dismissed the kidnapping charges against her and Harold Danny Rutledge, 33.

The third defendant, Myra Sue Izer, 26, pleaded guilty last month to a reduced third-degree felony charge of attempted child kidnapping and will be sentenced May 19.

Prosecutor Angela Micklos said she probably will recommend leniency in light of Thursday's developments.

The three defendants, all transients, were accused of take Triplett's 2-month-old son on Jan. 28, 2003, while Triplett, also a transient, went outside to smoke.

Defense attorney Heidi Buchi said the defendants were attempting to get help for the child, believing the mother was not taking proper care of the baby boy.

The next day that the defendants took the baby to the YWCA, where Gonzales introduced herself as the infant's aunt and Izer as the mother and requested baby supplies, according to court records. YWCA employees contacted police.

Prosecutors have the option of refiling the charges, but Micklos said Triplett had compromised her credibility by lying to police.

Triplett recently falsely told a Salt Lake City detective her child had died in a car crash in California, where she has family. The child actually is in protective custody in California.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast