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Pa. woman convicted of taking baby at mall gets 1½ to 7 years
NORRISTOWN, Pa. — A woman convicted of befriending another woman at a suburban Philadelphia shopping mall and then taking her baby has been sentenced to 1½ to seven years in prison.
Cherie Amoore, 33, of Wayne, was convicted in March of kidnapping and child concealment in the March 2016 events at the King of Prussia Mall. A Montgomery County judge imposed the sentence late Monday afternoon.
Prosecutors said Amoore struck up a conversation with the child’s mother and then took the 7-week-old boy when the mother was distracted by another child. Mall security video, combined with tips and help from the suspect’s family, led police to find the baby unharmed at Amoore’s apartment, where she apologized to responding officers.
Amoore’s lawyer, who didn’t contest the facts during a bench trial earlier this year, said his client has since received mental health treatment.
A doctor who evaluated her said she was experiencing a “dissociative episode” at the time. Dr. Gerald Cooke testified for the defense earlier Monday that he diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder, depersonalization disorder and major depressive disorder. Cooke had suggested that Amoore receive treatment in a private hospital or house arrest with outpatient therapy.
“There is a very blurry line for her between reality and fantasy” Cooke said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “She is confused and confusing.”
The child’s mother said that since the abduction, she doesn’t go anywhere without her two children, now waking them up early to take them to work with her. The children were at the courthouse with her during the sentencing hearing.
“I’m not comfortable with them being with anyone else,” she said. “Every day is a struggle.”
This story has been corrected to show the name of the doctor is Dr. Gerald Cooke, not Cook.
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