COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The trial in a federal case against a woman accused of kidnapping 5-month-old Columbus twins last December has been delayed.
Nalah Jackson was slated to go to trial Tuesday on two federal kidnapping charges, but the trial has now been rescheduled to Dec. 4. In legal filings to delay the trial, Jackson’s defense team said it is still sorting through “extensive discovery” spanning multiple states, including discovery related to Jackson’s mental health.
Jackson has faced local, federal and out-of-state charges related to the kidnapping of twin 5-month-old boys, who went missing with their mother’s car outside a Columbus pizza shop in December 2022. While one baby was found the next day near Dayton International Airport, the other baby was found in the abandoned car in a restaurant parking lot in Indianapolis.
One of the babies died a little more than a month after being recovered. An autopsy could not determine the manner of death, but the coroner found that an unsafe sleeping environment could have contributed.
The twins’ disappearance triggered a statewide, and then regional, Amber Alert, and Columbus police named Jackson as their prime suspect shortly after the twins were kidnapped. Jackson was arrested a few hours before the second infant’s discovery, north of downtown Indianapolis. Two women told NBC4 they set a trap for Jackson that led to police finding her.
Jackson’s defense attorneys said in legal filings that they’re engaged in an “extensive mitigation investigation” regarding her mental health at the time of the kidnapping and “whether any mental defenses may be available.” She is currently undergoing a forensic psychological evaluation, which will be finalized by Nov. 10.
Jackson faces 20 years to life on the federal kidnapping charges. The defense’s filings indicate federal prosecutors have offered Jackson a plea deal, which she is “open to” but has not yet endorsed. Both parties anticipate finalizing the plea deal after the psychological report is completed.
In April, Jackson pleaded guilty in Franklin County court to receiving stolen property and theft in exchange for the reduction of a grand theft auto charge. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 70 of which were commuted for time served. Jackson also received a one-year sentence with 305 days suspended after being convicted of spitting on an Indiana deputy while being processed during her arrest.