COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — The woman accused of stealing a car that had twin baby boys inside, prompting an AMBER Alert that gripped the region just before Christmas, appeared in a federal court in downtown Columbus on Friday.
Nalah Jackson, 24, was indicted Thursday on two counts of kidnapping of a minor. Each count is punishable by at least 20 years in prison. The judge could order the sentences run concurrently, not consecutively, which means the least amount of time she could get is 20 years. The maximum penalty would be life in prison.
Friday marked Jackson's first appearance before a judge in Columbus since she was arrested last month in Indianapolis.
Jackson said little in court, answering the magistrate’s questions with simple answers of “yes,” or “yes, your honor.” She was wearing a white t-shirt, black sweatpants, and handcuffs and leg chains.
Jackson will have a court-appointed public defender. She did not enter a plea today.
Federal prosecutors want to hold her until her trial; a hearing to decide that will be held next Tuesday.
Family members of the twins did not appear in court today.
Just days before Christmas, police said, Jackson stole a car outside a pizza restaurant in Columbus' busy Short North neighborhood. Several hours later, one of the twin boys, Ky'air Thomas, was found bundled up in his baby seat in the parking lot at Dayton International Airport.
But it took another two days before police found her and Ky'air's twin brother, Kason Thomas, at separate locations in Indianapolis.
Last week, Jackson pleaded guilty to spitting on an officer while she was being processed in Indianapolis shortly after she was arrested.