Emotional testimony reveals new details in kidnapping of newborn twins in Livonia case

Aug. 20 abduction prompted Amber Alert

LIVONIA, Mich. – The three adults charged in connection with the kidnapping of newborn twins in Livonia appeared in court for their preliminary hearing Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Livonia Amber Alert: Everything we know about group conspiracy to kidnap twin babies

The case involves a fake pregnancy, a woman earning the trust of a young mother expecting twins on social media and a shootout in an attempt to actually kidnap newborn twins.

Jazlyn Morgan cried in court as she relived the events of Aug. 24, the night her 14-day-old twins were kidnapped from her hotel room in Livonia.

She came face-to-face with the woman accused of taking her babies in court and described how 23-year-old Shantell Jones earned her trust over months by offering help with the babies.

“She asked if I needed anything for the twins, pertaining to baby items, and that she had some items she wanted to give away,” Morgan recalled.

While Jones was offering gift cards and diaper wipes, Morgan did not know that Jones was posting on social media that she also was pregnant with twins.

Morgan, her twins, and the twins’ father were at the Quality Inn in Livonia because the day before, two women and two men armed with an AK-47 tried to break into their home while the couple and the twins were inside.

Morgan did not suspect Jones, who continued to offer help and invited her to the hotel room.

Surveillance video captured Morgan going to the lobby to grab a drink from a vending machine, trusting Jones in the hotel room with her twins. Cameras captured her twins being taken.

Jones’ girlfriend testified that Jones came home with the twins hours later and said she just had them with the help of a midwife.

Jones’ mother testified that a friend called her, said there was trouble. After seeing the Amber Alert, she called her daughter.

“Whose babies?” Jones’ mother said. “Give them their babies back.”

Curtis Slay, Demetrius Chandler and a 16-year-old girl have also been charged in the plot.

What stood out in court was what a great witness the mother was. She described what the women looked like, what they were wearing, what they were driving and what her children were wearing.

About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.