Sodsai Dalzell, 39, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to burglary and attempted kidnapping charges in the incident

By Jeff Truesdell
September 30, 2020 12:38 PM
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The woman charged in the attempted kidnapping of NFL legend Joe Montana's grandchild is "extremely apologetic" after pleading not guilty Tuesday in Los Angeles County court, her attorney says.

Ayinde Jones, who is representing 39-year-old Sodsai Dalzell, told the media outside the court that he has “no hindsight, no clue as yet on why she did what she did, only that she is very apologetic," reports the Associated Press. "She has told me over and over again that she understands the harm that she has caused. As a parent myself, I can only imagine the pain that it has caused the Montana family.”

Montana, 64, and his wife, Jennifer, were at their Malibu home on Saturday evening when a woman who was not known to the couple entered the residence around 5 p.m., according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The suspect, later identified as Dalzell, allegedly removed their 9-month-old grandchild from the playpen, where the baby had been sleeping, and held the child in her arms, authorities said.

Sodsai Dalzell, at left, and Joe Montana
JAE C. HONG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images; Jose Carlos Fajardo/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Montana and his wife managed to find and confront the intruder, and tried to "de-escalate the situation,” said the sheriff's department statement, which added, "A tussle ensued and Mrs. Montana was able to safely pry the child out of the suspect’s arms.”

Joe and Jennifer Montana
Elsa/Getty Images

After the suspect fled, Montana flagged down deputies who were on patrol in the area, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Dalzell was located, arrested and charged with felony counts of attempted kidnapping of a child under 14 and burglary.

"Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well," Montana tweeted on Sunday.

During his 15-year NFL career, Montana spent 13 years as quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers, leading the team to four Super Bowl victories. In 1993, he joined the Kansas City Chiefs for two seasons until he retired. He and Jennifer were married in 1985 and have four adult children.

Bail for Dalzell, who has no prior criminal record, was set Tuesday at $200,000.

“Miss Dalzell is extremely apologetic and is very well concerned about the well-being of the family,” said her attorney. “She understands the harm that this has caused the family, friends and also fans of the Montana family. So our heart goes out to them.”

The attorney added that he intends to mount a defense “focused on ensuring that Miss Dalzell gets the help that she may need.”