Woman Sentenced in 16 year old Custody Interference

A correction to a story we ran yesterday about an East Texas woman jailed for interference with child custody. Authorities told us her ex-husband was in court, and that he pleaded for leniency on her behalf. 49 year old Catherine Walker was arrested in California using a fake name and social security number, after a traffic stop.

Officers there discovered she was wanted on charges of abducting her children from her East Mountain home in 1987. When the abducted children, Rebekah and Elizabeth, found their father in February 2003, authorities learned of Catherine's false identity, aka Pamela Johnson, and were able to include this information on the national information crime computer (NICC). It was this information that led to her arrest in Blythe, California.

She was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and 10 years probation. The family has told us today that Walkers ex-husband, Doug Harwood, never made any plea for leniency, and had only agreed to the plea agreement because it was a sure thing.

"I did not in any way beg anyone for leniency. A plea is guaranteed. A trial is not. One sympathetic juror would have let her go free. Therefore, i thought the plea was the best course to be sure she was punished for the horrible crime she committed against her children, my family and myself. Nothing will ever replace the 16 years she stole from us. Now she is a convicted felon and will wear that label the rest of her life" said ex-husband Doug Harwood.

Walker also received a fine of 5-thousand dollars, was sentenced to 600 hours of community service.