Parental Kidnapping Conviction Affirmed
In US v. Miller, No. 08-1152, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for international parental kidnapping, holding that 1) defendant's argument ignored the basic principle that any "lawful parental rights" created by a state family court order came into existence when the order was issued; 2) defendant failed to establish prejudice because neither her family court appeal nor its ultimate outcome were relevant to the existence of the other parent's rights during the period of the indictment while the Vermont order was still in effect and defendant was accordingly bound by it; and 3) the government provided sufficient evidence with respect to defendant's intent.
As the court wrote: "Defendant-Appellant Michelle Favreau1 ("Favreau") appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont (Sessions, J.) entered February 29, 2008, following a jury trial, convicting her of one count of international parental kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1204. On appeal, Favreau argues that the district court erred in excluding evidence of her appeal in child custody litigation pending before the Vermont Supreme Court and in refusing to grant a continuance of the criminal trial to await the outcome of this appeal. She also contends that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction."