A Bourbon woman who threatened not to return a child to her natural mother in 2011 could face up to seven years in jail, according to the Phelps County prosecutor’s office.
Jane E. Ware, 41, was found guilty of tampering with a witness, a class C felony, Tuesday in Phelps County Circuit Court.
The trial was heard by Senior Judge JohnWiggins, who rendered the verdict because Jane Ware had waived her right to a jury.
According to evidence presented during the trial, on Sept. 8, 2011, Jane Ware had accompanied her husband Christopher to Rolla Middle School and picked up his daughter from a prior relationship, using a newly amended birth certificate showing that Christopher was the father.
Christopher Ware had been charged two months before by a felony complaint in the Circuit Court of Phelps County with criminal non-support, according to the Phelps County prosecutor’s office.
After Jane and Christopher Ware picked up the child, they contacted the child’s natural mother demanding that she sign papers relieving Christopher Ware of an obligation to pay child support.
They also threatened not to return the child if the child’s natural mother refused to sign, a news release from the prosecutor’s office stated.
Wiggins set a sentencing hearing for Jane Ware for Oct. 3, 2013. For her participation in the incident, Jane Ware could be sentenced to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Wiggins remanded Jane Ware to the custody of the sheriff, pending the posting of her bail in the amount of $5,000.
Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney John Beger, who tried the case for the state, declined to comment pending the sentencing.