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3/15/2005 A woman whose lie triggered a false Amber Alert is sentenced.
By BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
A Tulsan received a 30-day jail term Monday upon pleading guilty to charges of making a false police report that prompted an Amber Alert and a massive search for an infant.
Lisa Miller must pay restitution of $4,728.73 as compensation for police overtime generated by the false missing-child report, a prosecutor said.
Miller, 29, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors -- one count of false reporting of a crime and two counts of obstructing an officer. In accordance with a plea deal, Tulsa County Special Judge David Youll sentenced her to 30 days in jail but gave her credit for eight days she already has spent behind bars.
Miller, who had been free on bond, was jailed Monday to serve the remaining 22 days. She subsequently must spend 11 months on probation, attorneys said.
Miller, also known as Lisa Grant, told Tulsa police Oct. 6 that her infant son was in her van when it was stolen from a parking lot, reports show, and an Amber Alert was issued. After a massive search, officers determined that the baby wasn't in the van when it was taken but was safe in Kansas with another relative.
Investigators think the wrong information was included to add urgency to the vehicle search.
Amber Alerts activate an early alert system and notify the public as well as law enforcement agencies outside of the jurisdiction where a child has been reported missing.
State lawmakers have been mulling legislation specifically aimed at false reports that trigger Amber Alerts.
On Monday the Senate passed Senate Bill 816, which would make it a misdemeanor to provide false information regarding a missing child that causes the activation of the Amber Alert system.
The bill by Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa, passed 42-0.
Under the bill, the crime would be punishable by as much as 90 days in jail and/or a fine of as much as $1,500.
A person who is convicted could be forced to reimburse any costs incurred by law enforcement authorities.
When it passed a Senate committee Feb. 9, the bill would have made the crime a felony punishable by as much as two years' incarceration and a fine of not less than $1,500.
A similar measure, House Bill 1294 by Rep. Lucky Lamons, D-Tulsa, passed the House on March 1 by a 94-3 vote and was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
That bill would make it a felony to launch a bogus Amber Alert, with a maximum jail sentence of one year or a fine of not less than $1,000, or both.
Whatever happens in the Legislature, Prosecutor Marny Kawano said she wants Miller's case to send a message that causing an false Amber Alert can result in jail time and a financial obligation for the time of police personnel.
The false-reporting count allowed a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, and each obstruction count carried a maximum penalty of a year in jail.
In a separate case, Miller awaits a preliminary hearing on a felony charge of possessing a controlled drug in November. Defense attorney Patrick Adams said Miller has a good defense to that charge.