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Grand Forks woman charged with kidnapping attends initial appearance virtually from state hospital

“I really thought that was my child,” said Ashley Iverson of her kidnapping charge.

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GRAND FORKS — A Grand Forks woman made her initial appearance after she was recently charged with kidnapping.

Ashley Iverson’s initial appearance in court on Tuesday, Sept. 20, began with Iverson asking Andrew Eyre, the assistant state’s attorney, if he was representing her. The judge, Lolita Romanick, informed Iverson her request for an attorney had just been accepted that morning and her appointed counsel, public defender Kristen Clow, would appear in the hearings to follow.

According to an affidavit in the case, the Grand Forks Police Department was dispatched to a report of kidnapping at the Masonic Center located at 423 Bruce Ave, at 5:35 p.m. on Sept. 4.

The victim's mother relayed the incident to the GFPD, which was recorded in the affidavit. According to the victim, Iverson approached her child in the county parking ramp, and grabbed his scooter while he was on it. She told the GFPD her son “freaked out.”

The victim's mother told Iverson the child was her son, to which Iverson responded, “He looks nothing like you. He’s my son.”


She told the GFPD that a physical altercation then ensued and punches were thrown between herself and Iverson as she attempted to get her son away from Iverson. The victim's mother said she was forced to use pepper spray on Iverson to escape. She said her son was “screaming bloody murder” during the altercation.

Iverson was located at Centre Inc. According to the GFPD, she was observed to be experiencing the effects of being pepper sprayed. She was transported to Altru where she was held for evaluation and treatment for being pepper sprayed.

Throughout Iverson’s initial appearance, she asked Romanick multiple times if she could speak. Romanick said she cannot advise Iverson on whether to speak, but informed her that unless she is answering questions, it is generally inadvisable at this time to speak as anything she says could be used to incriminate her.

Despite this warning, Iverson apologized for her alleged crime during the initial appearance. She also said she wanted to explain, “what was going on in my mind,” at the time of the incident.

“I really thought that was my child,” Iverson said.

Iverson said she is worried about going to jail due to her mental health. Iverson is currently being held at the Jamestown State Hospital for treatment and will be transported to the Grand Forks County Correctional Center when she is released, per the state’s bond proposal. At that time, a new bond hearing will be scheduled.

Iverson was charged with attempted or committed kidnapping, a class A felony, which has a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $20,000. It is required for 85% of the sentence to be served, unless it is commuted.

Iverson’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 24.

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