In People v Wambar, ____ Mich App ____ (Docket No 304116), released March 26, 2013, For Publication, Helmut Wambar helped La[Q]uanda Wambar, the child’s biological mother, abduct their child then age 6—withholding her from her legal guardian. They held the child until the police located them a few days later. The parental rights of both biological parents had been terminated earlier after an incident during which the young child ingested cocaine.
The mother pled guilty to attempted unlawful taking of a child, and did not appeal her conviction. Helmut plea bargained and in exchange for dismissal of several criminal-sexual-conduct and sexually-abusive-activity charges, he remained charged with kidnapping and with a custodial-interference charge. The latter was dismissed by the trial court. Helmut pled to the kidnapping charge, while preserving for appeal that he—as a “natural parent” of the child—could not be charge with kidnapping his own child. The Court of Appeals disagreed, concluding that defendant did not fit within the definition of “natural parent” in MCL 750.350(2), that his conviction was proper, and that the trial court did not erroneously deprive him of a defense.