Father Accused of Faking Insanity in Kidnapping Case

Prosecutors say Joshua Hakken faked insanity to avoid charges after illegally taking his kids to Cuba.
3:00 | 03/05/14

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Transcript for Father Accused of Faking Insanity in Kidnapping Case
latest on a bizarre kidnapping case from Florida. You might remember the story, the couple snatched their own kid, tried to escape to Cuba. There is a new twist. The father accused of faking insanity to avoid punishment on the kidnapping charges. ABC's gio Benitez has the story. Reporter: He appeared fidgety and wide-eyed in court but prosecutors 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. The state has been made aware of information in the process of learning that defense council that might indicate Mr. Hakken is faking his insanity. Reporter: Prosecutors telling a judge they now may have proof. His recorded jailhouse communications which include references to faking mental illness. Cole and this is chase. Reporter: Joshua hakken and his wife Sharyn are charged with kidnapping their two little boys last April. After legal troubles caused them to lose custody. After swiping the boys from their grandparents, the family was caught on camera boarding a boat in Tampa. My son-in-law just kidnapped my two grandchildren. They're under the state custody. He's not supposed to be near them. He tied me up. Reporter: They set sail for Havana, Cuba, captured there by Cuban officials and returned to the U.S. 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. This guy has been delusional for many years and she's been subject to his duress. I said too much on the plane. It's okay. Ooh I'm sorry. Reporter: When the two were caught on camera if a holding cell they appeared to be plotting their defense. Be careful what you say to your cell mates. About this? Yeah, no one can know about this. I know, I know. Reporter: In court they never spoke or made eye contact. A stark difference from this kissing couple speaking about their future together. When everything goes down I'll come find you. If I get out before you, I promise I'll wait for you. Reporter: For "Good morning America," gio Benitez, ABC news, New York. Dan Abrams is back and two distinct questions right here. Was the father insane when he took the kids? Is he fit to stand trial now? Right so it seems that the court is now saying that he is fit to stand trial. Initially he was deemed not fit to stand trial. What does that mean? That means initially the court was saying he can't even assist in his defense. He doesn't understand the proceedings against him. So we're not even going to move forward with this trial. It now seems they are going to move forward and now phase two is, I'm going to plead insanity which means I'm going to say that I didn't understand right from wrong at the time of the actual incident. That's where the tapes will come into play. Absolutely, because, look, this is a tough insanity defense, you've got these parents who allegedly kidnapped their kids from the grandparents who are going to testify. Take them to Cuba, are caught in Cuba. You know, when you think about the idea they didn't understand right from wrong and they're taking their kids to Cuba. A lot of planning. You know, it sure seems like you knew what you were doing was wrong when you find the one place you think you'll be able to get away with it. The Cuban, of course, sent them back along with the kids, so this is a tough insanity defense and this new evidence is going to make it an even tougher insanity defense. Okay, Dan Abrams, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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