Lawyers: Police Didn’t Follow Rules for Woman Accused of Leaving Infant at West Branch Gas Station

By Max Walker, Digital Editor

MADISON, Wisconsin — Lawyers for a woman accused of stealing her half-sister’s infant from a Wisconsin home and leaving the child at a West Branch gas station want a federal judge to throw out statements she made to investigators.

Authorities say Kristen Smith faked a pregnancy before she took Kayden Powell from the town of Beliot, Wisconsin, early in the morning of February 6th. Powell was six days old at the time.

Police contacted Smith later that day, and held her in West Branch after discovering an unrelated warrant for her arrest from Texas. Officers found Powell the following day, February 7th, at the BP station on Parkside Drive after questioning Smith about the missing infant.

In court Thursday, Smith’s attorneys said about a day’s worth of questions should not be allowed in court because she wasn’t read her rights before questioning began. Prosecutors disagreed, saying law enforcement stopped asking questions when Smith asked for a lawyer.

Smith testified that she asked for a lawyer at the beginning of questioning, and was not granted one until she asked a second time toward the end of the interview.

Prosecutors say they plan to continue with the case regardless of how the judge rules. Smith’s trial is scheduled to start July 28th.

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