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Jury convicts woman accused of kidnapping, faking pregnancy

A woman accused of faking a pregnancy and kidnapping her nephew from a town of Beloit home was convicted by a jury Thursday.

Kristen Smith, 31, of Colorado, was found guilty of kidnapping her 5-day-old nephew, Kayden Powell, and driving him across state lines in early February.

Smith was on trial in federal court this week, and took the stand Wednesday in her defense.

Kayden was found about 30 hours after he went missing inside a frost-covered plastic bin behind a gas station in Iowa.

Smith testified Wednesday that she suffered a miscarriage in January two weeks before her half-sister, Brianna Marshall, gave birth to Kayden.

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Guilty pleas entered from man accused in hit-and-run deaths

The man accused of hitting two motorcyclists and leaving the drivers to die in Janesville earlier this year pleaded guilty in Rock County court Thursday.

Sambath Pal, 24, of Park City, Illinois, was charged with two felony counts of hit-and-run resulting in death in connection with a crash April 20 that killed 24-year-old Mitchell Vance and 18-year-old Devin Julius. Both died when the motorcycles they were riding were hit.

Pal pleaded guilty to both counts Thursday, according to online court records. The judge had initially entered not guilty pleas on Pal's behalf, onMay 16, as Pal had stood mute in court.

2 arrested in connection with string of burglaries

Two 21 year olds have been arrested in connection with a recent string of burglaries and thefts in the Janesville area, according to a release.

Police said numerous burglaries and thefts from vehicles have been reported on the north and east sides of Janesville during the past two months.

Derek J. Sturdevant, 21, was arrested on tentative charges of burglary, criminal damage to property and three counts of theft for robbing the Stop-N-Go on Monday, according to the release. Sturdevant confessed to the burglary and to stealing from vehicles on Janesville?s east side.

Jeremy R. Green, 21, was arrested on tentative charges of receiving stolen property, two counts of felony bail jumping, misdemeanor bail jumping, and possession of drug paraphernalia after an investigation into a string of burglaries and theft from motor vehicles.

Officials remind residents to remove valuables from their vehicles and to keep vehicles locked.

Man stopped for suspected illegal turn charged with 5th OWI

Man stopped for suspected illegal turn charged with 5th OWI

Police said a Janesville man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving for a fifth time Wednesday morning. 

The Janesville Police Department said 43-year-old Robert Schuh was driving near the 1100 block of Center Avenue at 12:12 a.m. when an officer reported seeing Schuh make an illegal U-turn.

When the officer made contact with Schuh, the officer reported smelling intoxicants, according to a release. Schuh allegedly admitted to the officer he'd been drinking.

Police said based on Schuh's performance of field sobriety tests, the officer suspected Schuh was impaired.

Schuh was taken to Rock County Jail where a blood sample was taken. Results are pending, the release said.

Schuh was arrested on suspicion of fifth-offense operating while intoxicated and cited on suspicion of operating after revocation, not having insurance and making an illegal U-turn.

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Highway 81 near Beloit shut down for fatal crash

Highway 81 west of Beloit was shut down following a fatal traffic crash involving a semitrailer carrying liquid fertilizer, according to a release.

The two-vehicle crash happened near Kauffman?s Country Store at 9550 West Highway 81 around 2:10 p.m., officials said.

A Pontiac operated by Barbara J. McConnell, 71, of Beloit, was stopped in traffic facing east and waiting to turn into a private driveway, according to the release. The semitrailer, operated by Willard T. Trewyn, 75, of Janesville, was heading east and was unable to avoid hitting the Pontiac stopped in traffic.

The semitrailer clipped the right rear corner of the Pontiac, lost control, rolled over and stopped in the south ditch of Highway 81, investigators said.

Trewyn was pinned inside the cab of the semitrailer and had to be extricated by emergency personnel, according to the release. Trewyn was pronounced dead at the scene.

Accused kidnapper takes stand

The woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew and driving him across state lines took the stand Wednesday in her own defense.

Kristen Smith, 31, of Colorado, is on trial in federal court this week.

Smith is charged with kidnapping 5-day-old Kayden in early February. The infant was found about 30 hours later inside a frost-covered plastic bin behind a gas station in Iowa.

Smith testified that she suffered a miscarriage in January two weeks before her half-sister, Brianna Marshall, gave birth to Kayden Powell.

Reward offered in armed hotel robbery

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the three masked and armed men who robbed a Janesville hotel Tuesday.

Officers were called to the Baymont Inn at 616 Midland Rd. at 12:28 a.m. for a report of an armed robbery.

The front desk clerk told police the three men came into the lobby, displayed their guns and demanded money. They took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register and were last seen leaving the lobby on foot.

All three were wearing dark clothing and masks, and were about 6 feet tall.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Janesville Police Department at 608-757-2244 or Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636.

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