DALLAS LAWYER FORCED ADOPTION DECISION, MOTHER TESTIFIES

Tom Howlett
The Dallas Morning News
October 7, 1986

A Kentucky woman who received financial support during her pregnancy from a Dallas lawyer and his wife testified Monday that the couple told her she could not renege on an agreement to give up her baby.

The testimony of Pam Carter Winters came during the sentencing portion of the trial of 61-year-old Robert Irving Kingsley, a lawyer convicted Friday of sale of a child.

Mrs. Winters said she reconsidered giving up her boy after his birth in Garland Memorial Hospital in August 1984, but gave up her parental rights to the child after being scolded at her hospital bed by Kingsley and his wife, Mary Zoe Kingsley. The Kingsleys had given her living expenses and prepared adoption papers, Mrs. Winters testified.

"She (Mrs. Kingsley) told me I needed to grow up and think of what was best for the child,' Mrs. Winters said. "(Mrs. Kingsley said) I would go to jail because I had already relinquished my rights.'

The testimony about Kingsley's role in that alleged baby-sale case and another involving a Grand Prairie baby came after state District Judge Gerry Meier ruled against defense attorneys who sought to omit mention of other cases. Prosecutors are seeking to build a case for punishment of Kingsley, who could receive up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for the third-degree felony.

An eight-woman, four-man jury convicted Kingsley Friday of purchasing a baby boy in April 1984 from a Dallas woman who testified she received more than $2,000 in living-expense payments in what she thought was a legal private adoption.

Mrs. Kingsley is awaiting trial on the same Dallas case that her husband was convicted on, and on a second baby-selling case. Kingsley also faces trial for two other baby-selling cases.

In other testimony Monday, Virginia Dauler-Phinney testified that in May 1985 the Kingsleys told her and her husband that they might be able to arrange an adoption for the couple in the fall. But on June 20, 1985, Mrs. Kingsley told her that if the couple wanted a child they had to decide that day, Mrs. Dauler-Phinney testified.

Mrs. Dauler-Phinney said that the next day she and her husband drove from their New York home to Dallas, where they paid Kingsley $14,000 and received a 6-month-old girl without appearing before a judge.

Larry Thomas Blanton testified that he and his wife accepted $1,200 in June 1985 from Kingsley in exchange for another couple's baby. The baby was the one later acquired by the Dauler-Phinneys.

When the whereabouts of that child generated police and child-welfare interest in July 1985, Blanton testified, the Kingsleys provided him and his wife with $3,900 cash in a paper sack to pay for them to leave for California, where they were subsequently arrested in the alleged baby-selling scheme.

State District Judge Craig Penfold in February ruled that the Dauler-Phinneys could keep custody of the child.

Kingsley has not testified during four-day trial.

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