Court questions kidnapping suspect's mental competency - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Court questions kidnapping suspect's mental competency

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A mental competency evaluation was ordered Tuesday for a woman accused of abducting a 2-month-old girl from her teenage mother after posing as a worker for a daycare center at San Diego City College.

Talia Gore, 32, also known as Talia Gone, is charged with felony kidnapping and child abduction and misdemeanor counts of false impersonation and giving false information to a police officer. She faces nearly 12 years in prison if convicted.

As 17-year-old Cassandra Malone began testifying about her interaction with the defendant last May 4, Gore shouted out "It's not true, it's all lies," and was escorted from the courtroom.

Defense attorney Liesbeth VandenBosch then told Judge John Einhorn that she doubted her client's ability to understand the charges against her and was mentally competent to stand trial.

Einhorn suspended criminal proceedings against the mother of four and ordered the mental evaluation. A competency hearing was set for Sept. 9.

The baby's mother testified she was approached by Gore as she got off the trolley at City College, where she was taking classes.

The witness said Gore told her she worked for a program at the school that could help mothers with babies under 5 years old with daycare and other baby needs.

"I told her it sounded great. I really needed the help," the teen testified.

Gore bought her and a friend some food and asked her personal questions about herself and her daughter, she said.

The mother said Gore offered to watch the baby while she was in class, but she didn't feel right about it and declined.

When Malone testified that the defendant offered to buy clothes for the baby, Gore accused her of lying and kept muttering, "It's not true. It's all lies."

At Gore's arraignment, prosecutor C.J. Mody said the defendant and the teenage mother eventually returned to the City College area and Gore encouraged the mother to go to the Garfield High School campus to get paperwork needed to enroll in a teen mother program at the college.

Around 1 p.m, Gore allegedly told Malone she would take the baby into the campus' Child Development Center to care for her in the meantime. The mother watched as Gore pushed the baby stroller to the center, then left, only to return five minutes later to find that her child was not there, Mody said.

Police were notified, and a description of Gore, the baby and stroller were broadcast to patrol officers.

About 3:25 p.m., a San Diego police officer saw a woman matching the suspect's description exit a trolley in San Ysidro with a stroller and a baby fitting the missing infant's description, the prosecutor said. Police returned the unharmed child to her mother later the same day.

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