Clovis woman accused of taking newborn pleads guilty

The Associated Press

LUBBOCK — A 21-year-old Clovis woman accused of slipping into a hospital maternity ward wearing medical scrubs and abducting a days-old infant pleaded guilty Thursday to an aggravated kidnapping charge.

Rayshaun Parson, whose trial was set to begin Monday, faces up to life in prison and a fine of $250,000. A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

“Obviously, we’re pleased with obtaining a conviction,” said prosecutor Steve Sucsy.
The baby girl’s mother, Caisha Darthard, was at the hearing but declined to comment other than to say Mychael Darthard-Dawodu is doing “good.”

Surveillance footage from Covenant Lakeside Hospital in Lubbock showed a woman wearing blue and flower-print hospital scrubs and a gray, puffy jacket with a hood walking out of the hospital in the middle of the night on March 10. She was carrying a purse as she walked past an unstaffed information desk near the exit.

The baby was found the next day in Clovis. Parson has been in federal custody since her arrest that day.

Prosecutors have said Parson scouted security measures at Covenant and went to another Lubbock maternity ward the day the baby was abducted.

She pleaded not guilty in April.

A judge ruled in July she was competent to stand trial. U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, who issued a gag order in the case, sealed the report on Parson’s mental evaluation.