Woman Gets 30-Year Sentence for Slashing Young Mother's Throat, Stealing New Born

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A woman who slashed a young mother's throat and kidnapped her newborn in Missouri, setting off a frantic search that drew national attention, was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison.

The woman Shannon Torrez attacked two years ago testified at her sentencing hearing. Stephenie Ochsenbine said she remembered being covered in blood and pleading with Torrez while her 1-year-old son, who also was covered in his mother's blood, watched the attack.

"You gave me no regard and no caring to my pleading," she said to Torrez. Ochsenbine said she becomes panicked whenever she sees her attacker in court and whenever her children are out of her sight.

Torrez, 38, of Lonedell, entered what is called an Alford plea in May to one count each of child kidnapping, armed criminal action and first-degree assault. She did not admit guilt with her plea but conceded there was enough evidence for a guilty verdict.

Prosecutor Robert Parks said Torrez will serve at least 25 1/2 years in prison.

Abby Woods was 7 days old when she was abducted Sept. 15, 2006, about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis in Franklin County. The search ended happily five days later when Abby was found unharmed.

Torrez and Ochsenbine lived just a few miles apart but didn't know each other. At her plea hearing in May, Parks said that Torrez got into Ochsenbine's home by claiming her car broke down, and that she pointed a gun at the woman and said she was taking her baby.

When Ochsenbine fought back, Torrez stabbed her in the back, cut her throat, choked her and then tied Ochsenbine and her son up in the bathroom.

Authorities said Torrez passed the child off as her own, until a relative discovered a birthmark on the infant that had been covered with makeup and notified police.