UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - An Anna woman facing kidnapping and armed robbery charges was found fit to stand trial.
Karen Sue Nichols (a.k.a.) Karen S. Casper of rural Anna was arrested by Union County deputies in connection to an ongoing kidnapping investigation involving a newborn.
Nichols pleaded not guilty during the arraignment. A jury trial is set for late October.
Nichols is charged with one count of aggravated kidnapping and one count of armed robbery, both class X felonies. She is also charged with aggravated unlawful restraint. She was taken to the Jackson County Jail in Murphysboro on $500,000 bond.
Nichols is accused of claiming she was a part of an organization that helps young mothers. The baby's great-grandfather, Bill McHughs, says Nichols told the baby's mother she would take her shopping for items for the baby. McHughs says the mother and Nichols met in Johnston City where the mother and the child got in the car with Nichols. McHughs says Nichols drove the car around for several hours before stopping just outside Cobden.
"She pulled off the side of the road, pointed a gun at her and a knife and said, 'Get out of the car or I'll kill you and the baby,' took Lindsey, and some kind of scarf," McHughs said. "She tied Lindsey's hands behind her back, took her out into the field, taped her ankles together and put tape over her mouth and told her if she tried to get away too soon she'd kill the baby."
McHughs says Nichols took the baby back to her home in rural Anna while the baby's mother managed to untie herself and run for help.
According to the Union County Sheriff's Department, deputies arrested Nichols at her home on Hughey Lane and returned the baby to his mother the same evening.