McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 15, 2013

Mother turns herself in to U.S. Marshalls

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — A McAlester woman charged with kidnapping after allegedly taking her child and refusing to return him to the father, who is the custodial parent, has been taken into custody, according to McAlester police. Kayla Harmon, 22, turned herself in to the U.S. Marshal’s Service in Muskogee on Thursday afternoon, according to McAlester Police Det. Frankie McClendon. “She surrendered to the U.S. Marshal’s and they booked her into jail there,” McClendon said.

Harmon had the child, earlier identified by police as 4 year-old Benjamin Harmon, with her when she surrendered Thursday, according to McClendon. Child welfare service workers in Muskogee were notified, he said.

McClendon said the child had been visiting with his mother as part of court-ordered visitation on Feb. 2. When the child was not returned to the father, Anthony Harmon, as ordered, the father filed a police report. Anthony Harmon, has legal custody of the child, according to police and court records.

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case states that Kayla Harmon had made allegations to McAlester police against the father on Saturday, Feb. 2. She contacted the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and McAlester Police officer Bobby Cox also contacted the DHS, according to court records.

On Monday, Feb. 4, Anthony Harmon reported to McAlester police that he has full custody of the child and that the mother had picked the child up on Feb. 2 for visitation and should have had the child back by 8:30 p.m., according to records in the case.

Kayla Harmon had initially been charged with violation of a child custody order, then with a felony kidnapping charge. Anthony Harmon’s attorney, Jeremy Beaver, said Thursday the allegations made in the past against his client have been investigated by numerous medical and child welfare personnel and have been shown to have no basis.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com. 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.