Indiana Woman pleads guilty to attempted baby snatch

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -- A western Indiana woman has pleaded guilty to charges that she stabbed a couple while trying to kidnap their month-old son in what authorities said was a plot to pass off the baby as her own.

Stephanie Foster, 36, of Terre Haute, pleaded guilty during a court hearing Monday to a felony charge of armed robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in the June 2010 attack. Foster faces up to 30 years in prison if the Vigo County judge accepts her plea agreement, the Tribune-Star reported.

Foster's attorney told the judge he planned to present witnesses in her defense during the June 15 sentencing hearing.

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment Tuesday from defense attorney Michael Wright about what testimony he expected to present. Wright had told the court last year he planned to offer an insanity defense for Foster.

The plea agreement dismisses charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery against Foster and orders her to have no contact with the parents and child involved in the attack.

Foster has been in the Vigo County Jail about 700 days since she was arrested at the couple's home in the southern Vigo County community of Prairie Creek.

Police said Foster suffered a miscarriage in 2009 and then spent months stuffing a pillow inside her clothes to feign pregnancy to her husband and others, forging birth certificates and attending baby showers as she plotted to kidnap a child.

Foster targeted Ashley and Michael Speer after spotting a newspaper birth announcement of their son, police said. Ashley Speer let Foster in the family's home after she asked to use the phone while the baby was sleeping in the living room, and Speer's husband, who worked nights, was asleep in a bedroom.

Foster dialed a random number, then hung up and left briefly before returning with what police described as a pellet gun from her car.

Investigators said Foster pulled out a knife and began stabbing Speer as the new mother pleaded for Foster not to hurt her or the baby. Michael Speer heard the attack and was stabbed while subduing Foster, police said.

Ashley Speer was hospitalized after the attack for stab wounds to her arms and back, while Michael Speer was treated for cuts to his arms and stomach. The child wasn't injured.

Published: Wed, May 16, 2012

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