Karen Lovell Will Leave Prison Early - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Karen Lovell Will Leave Prison Early

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Karen Lovell in the May 2003 standoff Karen Lovell in the May 2003 standoff
Sheriff's deputy Mark Collins Sheriff's deputy Mark Collins
Kaden in 2008 Kaden in 2008
Kaden's aunt, Cathy Lester Kaden's aunt, Cathy Lester
Karen Lovell in a 2004 interview Karen Lovell in a 2004 interview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A woman who held a gun to her own child's head will be released from prison.

Officials said there isn't anything to stop Karen Lovell from reuniting with the child.

Six years ago, she escaped from jail in DeKalb County, stole a service revolver and kidnapped her 3-year-old son. During a standoff, she gripped her son and held a gun to his head.

Sheriff's deputies pleaded with her to release Kaden and surrender.

Deputy Mark Collins shot her and saved the child.

"When I saw her turn her head and grit her teeth and close her eyes, like she was expecting something to happen," Collins said in 2003. "I knew then that if I didn't now, it was going to be too late. I drew and I shot."

Lovell fell after she was shot in the head. The officer grabbed the boy and ran.

Lovell, who lost an eye, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. After serving six, she will be released.

"There is nothing legally stopping the mother of this child from picking the child up as soon as she gets out of jail," said attorney Jim Todd.

Kaden lives with his aunt Cathy Lester. Lester said there was never an official switch of custody. Unless the Tennessee Department of Children's Services or the juvenile court intervenes, Lovell will be able to regain custody of Kaden the day she's released.

"The law does indicate that the natural mother should have the child and reverts to that," Todd said.

Kaden and his aunt live in DeKalb County, but they've moved to a new home. Lester hopes when Lovell is released she can't find them at least until the courts or DCS intervenes. 

"I wasn't trying to hurt my son," Lovell told NewsChannel 5 in a 2004 interview. "I don't know if I can say that I was trying to protect him either. I know that I would never hurt my son."

She declined comment for this story, but in the past she has said she wants to be reunited with Kaden.

Lovell is expected to be released from prison later this month. Lester has contacted DCS about the potential threat from a possibly unstable mother. She also plans to file a petition, calling for an emergency hearing in juvenile court.

Kaden hasn't seen his mother in six years. He said he's not scared of her and is looking forward to seeing her.

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