Court dates set for woman charged with kidnapping Wellsville infant

LISBON — Upcoming court dates were set for the woman accused of kidnapping a Wellsville infant, while her defense attorney asked for a possible reduction in bond.

Kira Elaine Dunn, 33, Weber Lane, East Liverpool, is charged with kidnapping and interference with custody. The charges allege on Dec. 27, she removed a 40-day-old baby from the home of the mother, Maria Pugliano, without her permission.

Wellsville police were in the process of issuing an Amber Alert at Pugliano reported her baby missing at 12:45 a.m. She believed Dunn had entered her home and taken the child without consent.

Dunn reportedly had admitted to taking the child when Wellsville Patrolman Joe Saraniti reached her by telephone at 1:55 a.m. At that point, Dunn reportedly said she had taken the child to visit her own mother and to Walmart.

On Monday afternoon, Dunn appeared still in custody on the $125,000 cash or surety bond, which was initially set in the case by county Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost.

Defense attorney Justin A. Markota of Canfield asked Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Bickerton to consider reducing that bond.

Chief Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble, who was filling in for another prosecutor said in looking at the alleged facts of this case and Dunn’s past criminal record which includes charges of theft and other offenses of dishonesty, he has concerns about a reduction of bond. Although it was dismissed, Gamble said Dunn was once charged in North Carolina in connection to a misdemeanor child abuse case.

Gamble said he was expecting in light of these allegations a request for a competency evaluation.

Markota said Dunn’s family have been involved since the beginning and she has strong family support including a place to stay with them if she was released. Bickerton continued the bond for now and asked Markota to put his argument into a written motion.

Dunn signed a waiver allowing her trial to be scheduled further down the road. A jury trial was scheduled for May 21 with a final status conference on May 3.