Judge Rules 'Purse Baby' Suspect Competent for Trial on Kidnapping Charges

A woman accused of slipping into a maternity ward while wearing hospital scrubs and abducting a newborn girl is competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

Rayshaun Parson, 21, pleaded not guilty in April to kidnapping in the disappearance of Mychael Darthard-Dawodu. The baby was found a day after her disappearance in Clovis, N.M., where Parson lived.

Parson was arrested and has been in federal custody ever since.

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The case garnered tremendous attention, with television stations across the U.S. airing surveillance footage from Covenant Lakeside Hospital showed a woman wearing blue and flower-print scrubs and a gray, puffy jacket with a hood walking out of the hospital in the middle of the night March 10. She was carrying a purse as she walked past an unstaffed information desk near the exit.

Prosecutors have said Parson scouted security measures at Covenant and also went to another Lubbock maternity ward the day the baby was abducted.

U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, who has issued a gag order in the case, sealed the report on Parson's mental evaluation. The trial was set for Aug. 20.

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