This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A West Valley City woman charged with child kidnapping and forgery for allegedly tricking a court into giving her custody of her two grandchildren and then fleeing the state with them has been sentenced to probation and 45 days in jail.
Connie Marie Kanon, 44, resolved the case by pleading guilty in 3rd District Court to a lesser charge of third-degree custodial interference.
Judge Denise Lindberg on Friday ordered Kanon to perform 75 hours of community service and obtain a mental-health evaluation during a 36-month probation.
Charges against Kanon's husband, Steven Legrand Kanon, 44, were dismissed in January.
The Kanons, who are the paternal grandparents of the children 2 years old and 4 months old took them to Las Vegas last year but surrendered after police tracked them down.
According to charging documents, events began in February 2010, when the children's mother left them at their grandparents' home to spend the night. The following day, the mother could not get in touch with the grandparents. Police were able to confirm, to the surprise of the mother, that the court had awarded the Kanons custody of her children.
The mother who is separated from the children's father had not agreed to the change in custody, court documents state.
While the mother sought legal advice, the children continued to live with the Kanons, who did not allow the mother to see her children.
In March, the mother discovered a letter in court documents falsely stating that she consented to give the children to the Kanons. The signature and the writing on the letter was not hers and appeared to have been forged by the grandparents, court documents state.
During a hearing last April, a judge was informed of the misrepresentation and reinstated custody of the children to their mother. The grandparents, who had been notified of the hearing, did not attend.
When the mother went to the Kanons' home to get her children, the landlord told her they had moved several days earlier, saying they were going to California.
West Valley City police tracked the Kanons to Las Vegas the next day and, after several phone conversations, persuaded Connie Kanon to tell them where they were staying. Las Vegas police took the children into custody, and the Kanons returned to Utah, where they surrendered to police.