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Ann Pettway Expected to Plead Guilty to Kidnapping Charges

By Ben Fractenberg | February 9, 2012 4:58pm
Ann Pettway is charged with kidnapping a baby from Harlem Hospital in 1987.
Ann Pettway is charged with kidnapping a baby from Harlem Hospital in 1987.
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AP Photo/Wake County Bureau of Identification

DOWNTOWN — A woman who was accused of stealing a sick baby from Harlem Hospital more than two decades ago and raising the child as her own is expected to plead guilty in Manhattan Federal Court Friday, according to a letter from prosecutors.

The expected plea from Ann Pettway, 50, in a case that grabbed headlines around the country, comes less than two months after prosecutors said negotiations with her legal team were productive.

In a letter from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to Federal Judge Kevin Castel dated Feb. 8, prosecutors asked to set up a court conference Friday morning "at which time the parties anticipate that the defendant will enter a plea of guilty." 

Pettway is accused of taking 19-day-old Carlina White while posing as a nurse at the hospital on Aug. 4, 1987. She then allegedly raised the child in Bridgeport, Conn., giving her the name Nejdra Nance.

As an adult, White became suspicious when Pettway was unable to provide her with a birth certificate or other basic documents about her identity.

The letter did not specify any plea deal Pettway may have negotiated. She was indicted on federal kidnapping charges, which carries a mandatory penalty of 20 years in prison.

Pettway's attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.