Woman Who Allegedly Abducted Granddaughter Pleads Guilty
A woman who triggered an Amber Alert last month when she took her granddaughter Desiree Bowden from her school and drove toward South Dakota, pleaded guilty at her arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Thursday.
Viana Jones, 59, was charged with custodial interference, which is punishable by up to five years behind bars.
But a plea deal was reached that would send her to jail for between 18 and 36 months. Judge Catherine Wilking can accept or reject the arrangement after a pre-sentencing investigation.
When the Judge asked Jones why she abducted the girl she replied, "I went to the school, she ran up to me, and I just walked off with her."
When asked where she was heading with Bowden, she answered, "I didn't go really anywhere."
Her attorney Kurt Infanger asked for a reduction in her $50,000 bond.
But Assistant DA Stephanie Hambrick asserted that since she had a drug possession charge against her, and wore a wig to abduct the girl, it should remain the same.
The Judge agreed.
The case began the morning of Monday, Nov. 3, when her granddaughter was reported missing from the North Casper Elementary School.
An Amber Alert was issued in Wyoming and surrounding states.
About a half-hour after the Amber Alert was issued, the Wyoming Highway Patrol found Jones on Interstate 90, about 30 miles from the South Dakota state line.
When she was stopped, she was wearing a wig. Her car was packed with clothing, children’s clothing and toys. She was taken into custody without incident, according to the highway patrol.
The girl was unharmed.
Jones had legal custody of Desiree until she was arrested on drug charges earlier this year.
Desiree was then placed under the care of another family member by the Department of Family Services. Jones was court ordered not to have contact with her except for once a week supervised visitation.