Family of woman convicted for adoption fraud speaks out | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Alfredia Murray has yet to accept the fact that her daughter has been sentenced to three years in state prison.
"She changed her mind," said Murray, "There's nothing saying you can't change your mind."
Alfredia Murray is talking about her daughter, Kenyeta Murray.
"I kept telling her 'don't give up the baby for adoption,'" she said.
Kenyeta Murray did not and now she has been convicted on two charges of grand theft and one count of adoption fraud.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams they would put her in jail for changing her mind," said her mother.
Kenyeta Murray is a mother of six. The family said she has placed a child up for adoption before, but this time she didn't.
Prosecutors told the court that Murray was paid $894 by an adoption agency and $3,100 by a another couple for the same unborn child before she changed her mind.
"It is not justice, it is a tragedy," said Murray, "This is a civil issue and it is not criminal.
Now the family has the responsibility of Kenyeta Murray's six children while she serves her time in Florida State Prison.
Tyneshia Maple, Kenyeta's sister, mother of seven, now has to help.
"I work," said Maple, "Just imagine if you have 13 kids in your home that you have to buy Christmas for."
"There's nothing like seeing your mom, nothing like hugging your mom, nothing like kissing her," added Maple.
The Murray family said the prison sentence handed down by Judge Virginia Norton was too harsh. House arrest would have been more merciful and compassionate.
"Kenyeta is going to suffer," said Maple, "but at the end of the day, Kenyeta's kids are going to suffer the most because they need their mom."
Judge Norton called Murray a "danger to the public" before sentencing her to Florida State Prison.
Murray's attorney Sandra Suarez-Hernandez told the family they will appeal.
Bundles of Hope represented one of the families expecting to adopt Murray's baby.
President Glenda Carr said "justice has been served."
Carr said it is not about the money, it is about the children and there are a lot of broken hearts.
Murray, who has been in the Duval County Jail for the past 129 days, will begin her prison sentence immediately.