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Bizarre Tampa kidnapping



A Florida couple is accused of snatching their own children and trying to escape to Cuba.

In a new twist, the father is now accused of faking insanity to avoid punishment on the kidnapping charges.
ABC's Gio Benitez has the story.

He appears fidgety and wide-eyed in court, but this morning, prosecutors say they now believe Joshua Hakken may be faking claims of insanity to avoid prison.

A sudden about-face after those same prosecutors agreed with doctors in January that Hakken wasn't fit to stand trial.

But since the depositions and since the last court date  the state has been made aware of information.

Prosecutors telling a judge they now may have proof  Hakken's recorded jail house communications, which could include references to faking mental illness.

Joshua Hakken and his wife Sharon are charged with kidnapping their two little boys last April after legal troubles caused them to lose custody.
After swiping them from their grandparents, the family was caught on camera boarding a boat in Tampa.

Grandmother's 911 call: "Yes my son-in-law kidnapped my two grandchildren. They're under the state custody. He's not supposed to be near them. He tied me up."

They then set sail for Havana, Cuba, captured there by Cuban officials and returned to the US.

Prosecutors had said Joshua Hakken, the college-educated engineer, became paranoid with delusions about the federal government. Both he and his wife pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Now the judge is saying both will have to convince a jury of that.

Defense Attorney Bryant Camareno said, "If you get a hole of his manifesto, you'll see he's delusional. His delusions have been going on for many years, and she has been under his duress.

When the two were caught on camera in a holding cell in April, they appeared to be plotting their defense.

Surveillance
Jh: Be careful what you say to your cell mates
Sh: About this?
Jh: Yeah, no one can know about this.
Sh: I know, I know, I know.

In court Monday, the never spoke or made eye contact a stark difference from this kissing couple speaking about their future together.

Surveillance
Jh: When everything goes down I'll come find you.
Sh: If I get out before you, I promise I'll wait for you.