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Posted: 11:59 AM- A woman arrested in Magna this week for fleeing California with her 6-year-old son in 1981 is set to appear in court Friday on a fugitive warrant seeking to return her to her home state.
Meanwhile, Donna Marie Brewton, who was living in Utah under the name Kathleen J. Amidon, was released from jail Thursday after she posted $100,000 bail through a local bail bond company.
Brewton's attorney, Paul Grant, said Thursday that his immediate goal is to work out a surrender arrangement with California authorities so Brewton, 62, does not have to return there in handcuffs.
"It's not kidnapping," Grant said of the allegation against Brewton. "Its custodial interference."
In Utah, taking a child under the age of 16 to another state with the intent to interfere with another parent's custody rights is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
But Grant said such cases are usually resolved by reducing them to misdemeanors and imposing probation, not jail time.
Grant said Brewton was unaware she had committed a crime by leaving California with her son 26 years ago. She merely wanted to get away from her ex-husband, whom Grant said was "not a kind, compassionate person.
"She fled from a hostile environment."
Grant added that the son, now 32, was the one who hired him to represent his mother.
"The son is fully supportive," Grant said. "He is behind her 100 percent."
Grant called Brewton - who was working as the personal secretary to Westminster College's vice president of institutional advancement - "a sweet lady."
Orange County authorities tracked Brewton to Utah by tapping her mother's phones, Grant said. They then sent out an investigator to follow up.
Grant called the investigative effort "pretty amazing for a third-degree felony."
The investigators are part of a special team that handles child custody cases with an aim to reconcile children with their estranged parents, Grant said.
But at this point, prosecuting Brewton would be "purely punitive," he said. Because her son is now an adult, "it's purely his choice if he wants to have a relationship with his father," Gary Brewton,
Despite intense heavy media interest in the case, Grant says Brewton is not giving interviews. "She wants to get through this with the least amount of publicity possible," Grant said.