Local News

Prosecutors Portray Birth Mom as 'Master Manipulator'

Posted January 26, 2007
Updated January 27, 2007

— A Wake County judge denied bond Friday for a Florida woman accused of kidnapping her twins from their adoptive parents.

Allison Quets, 49, of Jacksonville, Fla., faces federal charges of international kidnapping after she failed to return Holly and Tyler Quets, both 18 months old, after a court-approved visit in December.

During a probable cause hearing, defense attorneys asked that she be placed under electronic house arrest, but Judge James Gates was worried that Quets is a flight risk and a danger to the children psychologically.

"We still do not believe that Allison is any flight risk," said one of Quets's attorney, Bruce Mason, after the hearing. "And we do not believe she is any danger to the children, especially."

Gates also ruled the prosecution has a strong case on many levels, finding that Quets was deceptive and had no regard for the justice system. He emphasized, however, she is innocent until proven guilty.

Quets, in a gray-and-white striped prison jumpsuit, cried before being led out of court and taken back to the Wake County Jail, where she has been since early this month.

Federal prosecutors on Friday called her a liar and a master manipulator who was obsessed, unstable and had developed an elaborate plan to take the children.

On Aug. 24, an FBI agent testified, Quets got passports for herself and the children. Friends of Quets told prosecutors she had thought about going to Denmark in the belief that it does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

In October, Quets and her boyfriend, John Gurley, drove the streets near the Needhams' Apex home for several days, prosecutor John Bowler said. She also tried to obtain the children's medical records and made a credit card payment to a Canadian immigration lawyer, he added.

Prosecutors said Quets also might have planned a test run in an attempt to take the children. They pointed to plane records from Dec. 1, which suggest she took the twins to New York City and took one of them to Ottawa on Dec. 2.

Gates also heard evidence that Quets, on Dec. 18, submitted her resignation to her employer, Lockheed Martin, where she had worked as a computer engineer. She told her employer she was going to work for the Orlando, Fla., school system.

After she fled with both twins to Canada on Dec. 23, Bowler said, Quets told border authorities there she had rented a house there for two months.

Prosecutors also suggested that Quets has narcissistic personality disorder and that she telecommuted to work because she did not get along with coworkers. They said she cared only about getting her way.

But another of Quets's attorneys, Dennis Sullivan, portrayed his client as a loving mother who was only concerned about her children's welfare.

Sullivan said Quets was pressured by Gurley, a relative of the Needhams, to give up the children for adoption and that she had a contract on a new townhouse in Florida, which was proof that she had no plans to permanently leave the United States.

Friend Marianne Leman testified that Quets was devastated by the adoption, had been researching adoption laws in Canada and was planning on taking the children there after the adoption appeal was settled.

If convicted, Quets could spend three years in prison and face a $250,000 fine.

Mason said he planned to appeal the judge's bond ruling next week.

"Although we're disappointed, we know this is just one more step along the way in Allison's fight to regain her children," he said.

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  • robinm Jan 27, 2007

    Again North Carolina Justice System is making a HUGE mistake! I don't think North Carolina should even be allowed to make ANY decisions. Just look at the past! Mistake after mistake!
    A mother should not be allowed to make any decision for their children until WAY after the children are born. There are just to many hormones taking charge to be able to make decisions during the pregnancy and after the birth.
    COme on North Carolina back off this mother and give the children back to her! She has already proven the LOVE she has for them, and she's already proven the lengthens she's willing to go for them. What else does a mother need to do?
    I have seen NC put children in wrong homes for years now, I don't think they are qualified to make this decision!

  • migsander Jan 27, 2007

    This a sensitive case. Maybe the mother should be given a longer period of time to make a decision because if you just gave birth had can you be in any condition to make an appropriate decision. It seems that she just made a mistake. However, she made the wrong decision about kidnapping the twins, so now she may never she them. She let her emotions get the best of her.

  • wigiwood Jan 27, 2007

    Those adoptive should have given those kids back as soon as they found that the birth mother had changed her mind, and from what I have read it was pretty soon after the birth. SHAME ON THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS!! They should have given the babies back!!!

  • todd75m Jan 27, 2007

    I think the kids are better off with her. With what I read so far. There's proven medical conditions with women that could probably be justified as temp insanity. Post partum depression rings a bell. But I look at it this way.. If I were those kids, and my biological mother did all that for me.. That's pure LOVE!!!! Shame the couple wouldn't give them back especilly under the circumstances.. I believe another article said she spent her life savings trying some 400k I think. That's alot of dough so she's not your average 16yo giving a kid up b/c of the age or $$$.. So maybe she is right. If I was her kid I'd never forget the couple when I come of age to realize how much my true mother wanted me!

  • owlady Jan 27, 2007

    Ms. Quets has demonstrated poor judgement in regards to the children and her handling of the adoption and then the plan to kidnap them away from their adoptive parents. She had visitation rights and The best of both worlds for someone her age. Not everyone deserves to be a parent just because they give life to a child. She is clearly not thinking of them.

  • builder276 Jan 27, 2007

    no reason to portray her that way, she does a fine job of it all by herself. She should never be alowed within 5 miles of those kids ever again. They should be granted a permanent restraining order against her. She is truly a wigged out gold digger

  • jklsjl Jan 26, 2007

    I pray you get all three years in prison, but im sure the mental excuse will be used as your defense, probably forgot to take your meds.. I know how mental people are.. I have worked with them over 10yrs...

  • jklsjl Jan 26, 2007


  • cm258 Jan 26, 2007

    That is a classic blood sucking Lawer. Not all are that way. To have this woman kidnap the twins she gave up for adoption and in the same breath say one step closer to regaining custody is an outrage. Florida Laws say final. She signed legal papers there. She should have been grateful she was allowed visitation rights. Ms Quets, you gave up the twins. Apologize to the adoptive parents. Maybe one day you may get supervised visitations if you are lucky. The kids are better off where they are at.

  • gollydolly Jan 26, 2007

    Some of you may not realize how absolutely assanine and ignorant you sound. Reinstate the death penalty? Ignorance.
    The woman obviously suffered from post partem depression or a clinical depression after having such a harsh pregnancy. Apparently the "friend" who knew the Needhams and her may have put some undue pressure on her about the babies. It appears that there was a lot of behind the scenes coercion and pressure that none of us are privy to. The woman wanted her children. IVF is NOT the same as unprotected and unexpected pregnancy. The health problems and her vulnerability allowed for coercive techniques to get her to give up these babies. She quickly changed her mind and lets be honest if she were in almost ANY other state she would have had her children back. I can understand the Needhams may not want to give up these babies. I can imagine that it is not everyday that you can get two young,healthy babies. Ethically they should turn over these babies to their mother.