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February 21, 2013

Court appearance made in McAlester kidnapping case

McALESTER — A McAlester woman charged with felony counts of kidnapping and violation of a child custody order remained in the Pittsburg County Jail  near noon on Wednesday.

Kayla Harmon, 22, pleaded not guilty to both the charges during an initial court appearance before Special Judge Tim Mills at the Pittsburg County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly before Harmon entered the plea, she stood in shackles in the courtroom as Mills told her of the charges against her. The judge then asked Harmon if she understood the charges.

When Harmon indicated she did, Mills told her he had been contacted by an attorney from Guthrie on her behalf. The attorney had advised that Harmon should plead not guilty, he said. After Harman entered the plea, the judge set a preliminary hearing conference for 1 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Mills then asked Assistant District Attorney Chuck Sullivan what the state had in mind for bond. Sullivan said $150,000, which the judge then set as bond in the case.

Harmon, who has been in the Pittsburg County Jail since last Friday, appeared to hesitate a moment. She then asked Mills if her bond could be lowered.

“I turned myself in,” she told the judge, a reference to her surrender to authorities in Muskogee last week.

Mills told Harmon her attorney would have to handle the request for a lower bond.

Harmon had surrendered to members of the U.S. Marshal’s  Service and the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office last Thursday in Muskogee.

She had been accused of taking her 4 year-old son following a visitation on Feb. 2, and refusing to return the child to his father, Anthony Dale Harmon, who has legal custody of the child.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

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