JONESBORO, Ill.—A woman is jailed in southern Illinois after being accused of threatening a mother with a knife and tying her up before taking the victim’s newborn son.
Union County prosecutors charged 44-year-old Karen Nichols of rural Anna with aggravated armed robbery, kidnapping and unlawful restraint. During a court appearance Tuesday, a judge assigned a public defender to represent Nichols after she said she couldn’t afford one.
The baby’s grandfather, Travis Sheppard, tells WSIL-TV that his Johnston City daughter and Nichols became friends through social networking, and Nichols offered to help the new mom.
Sheppard says Nichols attacked his daughter and took the baby last Friday. The boy was OK.
A message was left with Nichols’ public defender. Nichols doesn’t have a listed home telephone number.