US

Mother, stepdad plead guilty to fleeing country in 2004 with daughter amid custody dispute

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2014 file photo, Genevieve Kelley arrives for a hearing in Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster, N.H.  Kelley had been charged with fleeing the country with her then-8-year-old daughter Mary Nunes during a custody dispute in 2004. During a pretrial hearing Wednesday, June 17, 2015, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of custodial interference and felony charges were dropped. She will spend 10 months in jail. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2014 file photo, Genevieve Kelley arrives for a hearing in Coos County Superior Court in Lancaster, N.H. Kelley had been charged with fleeing the country with her then-8-year-old daughter Mary Nunes during a custody dispute in 2004. During a pretrial hearing Wednesday, June 17, 2015, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of custodial interference and felony charges were dropped. She will spend 10 months in jail. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)  (The Associated Press)

A mother and stepfather have pleaded guilty to charges they fled the country more than a decade ago with the woman's daughter amid a custody dispute.

The surprising pleas took place during a pretrial hearing on Wednesday.

Genevieve and Scott Kelley pleaded guilty to witness tampering, a misdemeanor. Felony charges of custodial interference were dropped. Genevieve Kelley will spend 10 months in jail and Scott Kelley will serve five months.

They took then-8-year-old Mary Nunes out of the country in 2004. They said they did it to protect the girl and accused her biological father, Mark Nunes, of abuse.

Mark Nunes was investigated but never charged.

Genevieve Kelley turned herself in November, saying she wanted to go to trial. Scott Kelley and Mary Nunes returned to the U.S. in April.