San Augustine Co. trial begins for duo charged in 7-year-old kidnapping case

Krystle Tanner (Source: San Augustine County Jail)
Krystle Tanner (Source: San Augustine County Jail)
Gloria Walker (Source: San Augustine County Jail)
Gloria Walker (Source: San Augustine County Jail)

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - The first day of the trial for a mother and daughter team charged with kidnapping and injury to child started Monday at the San Augustine County Courthouse.

Krystle Tanner and Gloria Walker allegedly kidnapped an eight-month-old child out of Houston eight years ago. Since then, officials say Tanner has been on the run from officials hiding the now eight-year-old boy from the public.

The trial started with jury selection involving more than 350 people. District Judge Charles Mitchell said because the case has two defendants -- Tanner and her mother Gloria Walker -- they had to make sure they picked the best panel of 12 jurors who did not know anything about this case prior to selection.

For eight years, Tanner allegedly hid Miguel Morin in homes all over central and east Texas without letting him go to school or go by his birth name.

The prosecution in the case said Miguel's mother had told the Houston Police Department that she had left her baby with Tanner, who lived in the same apartment complex and was a good friend. When she went to go pick up her baby, Walker told her that Tanner had taken the baby and was gone.

The defense countered, saying that the baby's parents would leave him with Tanner for weeks at a time without any notification of when they would be back.

Tanner was arrested in San Augustine County by the San Augustine Sheriff's Office in August 2011 after reports came in concerning negligent supervision of children and abuse involving Tanner. Deputies realized one of Tanner's children was Miquel.

Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham said he visited Tanner's son at his school in 2011 with supervision from the school's principal about an unidentified boy who lived with him. Tanner's son told Cunningham that the boy was bi-racial and had never gone to school and had been given to his mom by a friend. Cunningham interviewed Tanner about the unidentified child. Tanner said she met a woman named Kristi in Center who asked her if she would babysit her child. Cunningham said after exhaustive efforts he never found a Kristi and a child in Center. He said at this time he suspected something illegal was happening. Cunningham found a report from the Houston Police Department about a missing child report filed in November 2004 out of Harris County.

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