COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Nalah Jackson, the woman accused of kidnapping 5-month-old twins when she stole their mother’s car and setting off a multiday Amber Alert before Christmas, finally faced a Franklin County judge Monday as charges continued to mount.
Jackson is expected to primarily face federal kidnapping charges after one of the twins was recovered in Indiana. After being located in Indianapolis, she faced charges there related to spitting on a deputy as she was being processed into custody.
On Monday, she appeared in Franklin County Municipal Court, where she was charged with two counts of kidnapping and several lesser charges including driving while under suspension, reckless operation and failure to stop. Bond was set at $1.5 million, and based on her prior conviction history, including one for child endangerment, she was ordered to stay away from all minors.
On Dec. 19, officials say Jackson was inside the Donatos in the Short North when a woman came inside to get a delivery order. Jackson is accused of running out and driving away with her running car, with the infants, Ky’air and Kason Thomas, inside. After the initial kidnapping, an Amber Alert was issued nearly four hours later, with Kyair located outside and wrapped in a quilt while still in his car seat at a parking lot near a Dayton airport early the next morning.
The search for the car, Jackson and Kason continued for days until police announced on Dec. 22 that Jackson had been arrested in Indianapolis, some 175 miles away from Columbus. Hours later, Kason was located still inside the missing car in a pizza shop parking lot elsewhere in Indianapolis. Kason was reunited with his family after a three-day stay at an Indianapolis hospital.
At the federal level, Jackson faces at least 20 years in prison and up to life in prison for each count of kidnapping a minor, according to Kenneth Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
Jackson was extradited from Indiana, where she was sentenced to one year in jail for a felony charge of battery by bodily waste after a local sheriff’s office accused her of spitting on a deputy while being processed. A plea agreement was reached with 305 days of her sentence suspended, and she’ll need to serve 10 more days to fulfill the remaining days of her sentence.
The fallout from the abduction triggered an investigation into the Amber Alert issuance process based on weaknesses in Jackson’s high-profile abduction case. An advisory committee recommended tweaks and the quarterly Ohio Amber Alert Advisory Committee meeting shed light on the case and the hours-long process behind putting out emergency notifications when children are taken from their parents.