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City judge rejects woman's appeal in infant's kidnapping


The woman serving 30 years for kidnapping a baby from his mother's room at Sinai Hospital in 1989 tried unsuccessfully yesterday to win an appeal of her conviction in Baltimore Circuit Court.

Karleane Wilkinson, a native of Jamaica, was arrested Nov. 16, 1989, at her home near Woodmoor -- with the missing Avery Norris. The boy disappeared Sept. 21, 1989, when he was 2 days old, after a woman dressed as a nurse told his mother she was taking him to a hospital nursery, city police said.

A jury convicted Wilkinson of kidnapping a child younger than 16, and she received the maximum sentence from Judge Joseph I. Pines in April 1990.

But there was never an appeal in the case, and yesterday Gloria Storch, of the public defender's collateral review section, put Wilkinson on the witness stand in an attempt to persuade Judge John C. Themelis to grant a belated appeal. The judge denied the petition for post-conviction relief.

Wilkinson testified that she hadn't understood the time limits for an appeal when the trial judge and her defense attorney explained them. She also accused police of failing to read her rights to her at the time of her arrest.

Assistant State's Attorney Gary Schenker said some of the issues Wilkinson raised yesterday were addressed during pretrial motions, and others could have been raised by Wilkinson herself when she testified at her trial.

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