Couple charged with kidnapping Mexican baby

July 20, 2009 5:38:10 PM PDT
Two U.S. residents have been charged with kidnapping a 3-month-old Mexican girl and trying to smuggle her out of the country. Nuevo Leon state prosecutors say the married couple was caught after they tried to register the baby as their own at the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey. If convicted, they face up to 50 years in prison.

The suspects, Eduardo Martinez and Maria Eva Garcia, are Mexican citizens who live in Los Angeles. The consulate confirmed Monday that they are legal U.S. residents.

Prosecutors say Garcia's sister took the baby from a 17-year-old mother who did not want to keep her, and gave the child to the couple.

Lawyer Carlos Chapa says they will plead not guilty and calls the charges "incredibly exaggerated."

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