Sadness over two miscarriages and fear of losing her boyfriend drove a young woman to snatch a newborn from a Riverdale hospital in January, she said.
Naquelle Ballard, 20, of Morrow, expressed remorse for her actions exclusively on Channel 2 Action News on Wednesday. Ballard was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of probation in the case on Monday.
“I really wish I would have thought twice, three times about it, but I didn’t,” she said.
She expressed remorse to the family for her deeds on that Jan. 4 morning: for buying blue scrubs to blend in with hospital staff and kidnapping the 2-day-old girl from her mother’s room at Southern Regional Hospital.
Ballard said she came up with the plan after suffering the miscarriages; she still wanted to give her boyfriend a baby.
“I was in love with him and I felt like that was going to make him stay with me or I was going to keep him that way,” she said. She said she is no longer in that relationship.
Surveillance video shows Ballard leaving Jasmere Brown’s room with Brown’s newborn daughter, Chloe. Ballard then places the newborn in a purse and tries to leave, but two hospital employees fight with her and take the baby from her.
Ballard runs off, but returns when she realizes her car keys were in her purse. Ballard gets the keys and again leaves. Workers jot down her car tag number. She was arrested about five miles away in Lake City.
“It felt good to hold a baby, but I was still sad in the same sense,” Ballard said.
She said she felt sad for hurting Brown, whom she chatted with before taking her infant out of the room.
“I know she was going through a lot of pain when I did what I did, and I’m just sorry,” Ballard said. “I regret doing it. It was the biggest mistake I could have ever made in my life.”
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