BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo woman who is accused of taking her four-year-old daughter from a bus stop Thursday afternoon, prompting an Amber Alert to be issued in the middle of the night, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against her.
Mikesha Lawson, 23, was arraigned in Buffalo City Court Saturday morning on charges of custodial interference, unlawful imprisonment, criminal contempt, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting arrest, and obstruction of governmental administration; All misdemeanor charges.
Police say Lawson was in Family Court Thursday when she learned she was going to lose custody of her daughter. We’re told Lawson left the courthouse and hid at her daughter’s bus stop, taking her as she returned from school.
The mother and daughter were both found safe Friday morning.
Lawson’s attorney, Matthew Albert, says the case was blown out of proportion from the start. “An Amber Alert should be issued when a child is in danger,” he said. “The only danger this particular child was in was eating too many french fries at McDonald’s.”
“This is a mother fighting for her kid. If she made a mistake or two along the way doing it, it goes to the love she has for her child,” Albert added.
But, the prosecutor told the court during Saturday’s arraignment that Lawson had stated she would do the same thing again, if released. The prosecutor, who asked for the defendant to be held without bail, also said Lawson was combative while in custody and had a history of failing to appear for court appearances.
Initially, bail was set at $50,000, but as Hon. Betty Calvo-Torres was outlining the conditions of an order of protection she was issuing that would prevent Lawson from contacting her daughter, Lawson had an emotional outburst, turning her back on the judge and starting to try to walk away while swearing.
The judge then doubled the bail to $100,000.
“My client was upset,” Albert said after Saturday’s court appearance. “She’s upset about the whole situation, and understandably so. Her kid is being ripped away from her.”
Lawson’s daughter is in the care of her cousin now. Lawson has been ordered not to have any contact with her.
She is next due in court for a pre-trial conference on the morning of March 16.