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Attorney in Local Kidnapping Case Comments on its Evidence

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The attorney for one of the women charged in the kidnapping of two teenagers says he believes that her case -- and its evidence --have been characterized in the wrong way.

Amanda Hellmann is charged with Kidnapping in the Second Degree. Prosecutors say Hellmann abducted Kylea and Shaeleen Fortner from Susquehanna Valley High School/Middle School, then prevented law enforcement from returning the children to their foster parents. Police say they found the pair at Hellmann's home in Vestal. Her attorney, Ron Benjamin, says he plans to clear Hellmann in court.

"I think that this was a tragic circumstance for the children, but I do not believe that she should be held responsible. The idea of charging her with kidnapping is ridiculous. So what we would like to do is really move forward as quickly as possible, so people can see that this is not the person that the people have characterized her as," said Ron Benjamin, Hellmann's attorney.

District Attorney Steve Cornwell declined comment on Benjamin's assertions, saying he will prosecute the case in the courtroom.