Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wife of baseball player wanted to adopt Plant City baby, attorney says

TAMPA — The wife of a minor league baseball player wanted to adopt the baby she is accused of stealing, her attorney said Tuesday.

Amalia Tabata Pereira, 43, has been jailed for two weeks, ever since authorities said she posed as an immigration official and threatened a Mexican mother in Plant City with deportation if she didn't give her 2-month-old girl to Pereira.

Pereira was hoping Tuesday to get her $750,000 bail reduced.

But Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Gabbard said the steep bail was appropriate for the case's "unusual and egregious" set of facts. They include Pereira leaving the county with the baby and telling her 20-year-old husband, Jose Tabata, an outfielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system, that the child was theirs.

The prosecutor said the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office plans to upgrade a false imprisonment charge against Pereira to kidnapping, a first-degree felony punishable by life in prison.

She also is charged with interference with child custody and impersonating a public officer.

"She took advantage of their immigration status," Gabbard said.

Pereira previously served nearly three years in prison after being convicted on charges including arson, grand theft and filing a false crime report. She was released in 2003.

William Malachowski, an assistant public defender, called the latest allegations inflated.

Pereira, a mother of four, returned the baby to law enforcement a day after her encounter with the child's mother outside the Plant City Health Center. She did so as soon as she learned there was an Amber Alert for the missing child, he said.

Authorities have no proof, he said, that his client impersonated an immigration official.

"Well, what did she do, find the baby on the side of the road?" Hillsborough Judge Walter Heinrich asked.

He denied the motion.

Wife of baseball player wanted to adopt Plant City baby, attorney says 04/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 11:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  2. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  4. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep paying tech expert suspected of stealing House computers?

    Blogs

    The following is from the Miami Herald: