Left in prison for 75 days over issue that could have been resolved

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by kazenatsu, Mar 14, 2023.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

    May 15, 2017
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    This is something that could have easily been worked out and resolved had the prosecuting attorney just sat down at a table and met with this person. Instead, the person was left to sit in jail for a total of 75 days.
    And while sleeping on a thin mat on the floor in the unsanitary conditions of the jail, and with limited access to medical care, they apparently caught an infection which resulted in them going blind in one eye. All pointless for nothing.

    The problem had begun with the fact that this guy had a business 4 years ago in the past before he sold it to his business partner and moved to another state. One of the clients of the business had discovered that $20,000 of their money had been taken. (Although the story doesn't clarify) it seems there might have been some confusion about who it was who now ran the business.

    These type of stories are more common than people think. System throws people in jail and forgets about them. If you don't have a lawyer, you're in trouble.

    This is an issue that could have easily been corrected had someone just been willing to go to this man and explain the reason for him being there and been willing to listen to him. But that's not how it ordinarily works. They just threw the man in jail, took their sweet time while he was stuck there, and gave little opportunity for any communication.

    Of course the prosecuting attorney is not going to face any disciplinary consequences for this. Just business as usual.

    Here's the long story:

    What's your worst "this is not happening to me" moment?

    It was a hot July afternoon in 2017. I was getting ready to jump in the shower to go work for a few hours when I heard a knock on the door. I had a pair of gym shorts on so I went and answered it and to my amazement there were a bunch of cops outside. They told me they had had a complaint of loud noise and possibly domestic violence. I just laughed and said no that's not here as I live alone and they said well that's okay.

    One of them asked me if I had any ID on me so they could go about their business and I said sure. My wallet was on the wall right by the door and so I pulled my ID out and handed it to one of the officers. He looked at it and asked me if I could step outside. Again I kind of chuckled and said yeah no problem.

    As soon as I stepped out of the door of my house the other officer said turn around, put your hands behind your back. I looked at him kind of funny and I said what for he said turn around! So I turned around. I put my hands behind my back. Suddenly I felt handcuffs. As they set me down in front of the house on my bench I asked one of the other officers what this was all about. He said there's a warrant out for your arrest. Now mind you I have never been in any kind of trouble at all in my life and so again I kind of chuckled. I said what kind of warrant? The officer said I don't know it's from out of state.

    Now I'm starting to get a little freaked out. So the officer leads me into the car. All I have is my gym shorts and flip-flops and my cell phone. That of course was taken from me. As we're driving to the jail about 45 minutes later I asked the officer what this is all about. He said I really don't know, it's an out-of-state warrant and we've got to take you to jail. And it looks like there's a no bond clause on this warrant, which means until I figure out what this is I'm stuck there.

    I was put into a holding cell with about 15 gang-bangers in Fort Lauderdale Broward County Jail. About 11 that night was transferred to a holding jail. Given a 2-inch mattress and a blanket and told to go to sleep on the floor. At this point I've asked probably four or five officers what's going on and nobody seems to know. I haven't seen an attorney and I don't have any telephone numbers memorized. Stupid smartphones.

    So the next day I ask an officer again what's going on and how do I find out. He comes back and simply says it's an out-of-state warrant, you'll have to wait to see the judge. I said I want to access my cell phone so I can find some numbers and call somebody. At that point they told me they won't let me unless there's a court order.

    Here's where it gets really bad, as if it wasn't bad enough already. I don't see a judge for 8 days. Yep you read that right, I'm 8 days in jail not having any idea why, not seeing an attorney and having no access to call anyone. I finally see a judge on the 8th day and he tells me it's an out-of-state warrant and again he doesn't know what it's for and I have a choice, I can fight extradition or I can concede to extradition.

    If I fight I'm going to probably be there for 60 days minimum and possibly be let out. If I concede I could be there another 45 days before they take me to the other state. So I conceded and I asked him for the court order to access my phone. The judge says he's never heard of having to have a court order to access a cell phone but reluctantly gives one.

    On the 9th day as I asked to again access my phone I'm told that they're not going to allow me to access my phone even though they have a court order because the phone battery is dead. Now I don't know what to do. This is the ninth day and it turns into the 10th and 11th and 12th Etc. On the 23rd day, no one in the world knows where I am. I'm assuming my kids probably think I'm dead, as they live in another state.

    North Carolina shows up to extradite me on the 23rd day. During this 48 hour trip where I'm shackled hand and foot in the back of a van, I finally convinced one of the officers that is driving to access their Facebook account and message a friend of mine to try to get a phone number.

    They do that and of course my friend thinks it's a scam. Finally I gave him information that only I would know and I get a phone number. On the 25th day in North Carolina I finally found out what the charge is. Former client of mine from 4 years prior in a business that I had had and signed over to another partner have accused me of taking $20,000 and fleeing the state. I laughed again. But not real hard this time because this was getting real.

    As I'm booked into their jail I'm trying to figure out what to do. The next day I finally saw an attorney. He doesn't have too much information for me but tells me what the charge entails and what the possibilities are for sentencing and things like that. A few days later he comes back with what they call Discovery which is evidence on me from the district attorney side.

    As we went through that I found no evidence at all pointing any kind of criminal activity to me, which of course I knew because I hadn't done anything. However I did find a receipt from an unknown company that was in my former partners handwriting and had his home address as the address for the unknown company. The amount receipted was $12,000. I told my attorney what I found and then was escorted back to my cell.

    Days and weeks go by. No news at all. The total amount of time I spent in this jail was 52 more days. They demanded $25,000 in cash in order to release me or I was just stuck there. I had access to no money at all however I had finally called my buddy who had gotten in touch with my sister and they had let my kids know what was going on.

    On about the 44th day I had woken up with some pain. Looks like I had caught an infection and it was in my right testicle. Had no way to contact a nurse except to put it on a message board requesting medical. There was no medical that day, there was no medical the next day, even though I requested it again.

    6 days later I finally had seen a nurse after I told them through the message that it has gone into my ear. She gave me one antibiotic pill that day and told me I would get another the next day. On the 51st day I saw my attorney and my attorney had told me at this point the DA is not going to offer a plea bargain because the evidence against you doesn't make sense. However there is a possibility that there will be a plea bargain offer but it probably won't be for about 6 months.

    If at that point I plead not guilty it may be another six months to a year before there is a trial. At this point I just tell my attorney that we need to speak to the DA. He says he doesn't have time to do that and I said no problem. Give me the name of the DA and the telephone number and I'll have my sister three-way me and we'll call him ourselves.

    Something amazing happened at that point. The next morning my attorney arrived and told me I was getting out that day. The state released me on my signature with no money involved. So I left North Carolina on a Thursday evening and had to take a train back to South Florida. I got home Friday night.

    Fortunately through this time I've spoken to my landlady, even though I had been evicted because she didn't know where I was, she let me stay. My car had been repoed [repossessed], the companies that I have done business with had canceled contracts, and one had even charged me back almost $75,000. But at least I had a place to stay.

    So I begin to regroup the next afternoon and I noticed that my eye’s hurting. By that night I couldn't see from my right eye and it was in so much pain that I had to call an ambulance. Long story short, I ended up staying the night in the hospital with an infection that had gone into my eye behind my eye and was in the process of getting ready to attack my brain.

    I lost sight in my right eye that day. ended up several months later having to have a cornea transplant. The transplant was a year-and-a-half ago, and I still can't see very well out of the eye. Today is July 22nd, almost two years from the arrest and the case still hasn't been closed. I've been told over and over that they're going to dismiss the charges but they haven't done that as of yet. So that's my answer to the day I said is this really happening?

    Edit Nov. 18 2019. Just an update for those who have asked. Have had several court dates in the last several months the last one being last Wednesday November the 6th. Court has again continued at this case until January 8th 2020. At that point it will be about two and a half years since I was arrested. I've made a decision that if it's not been dismissed on January 8th I'm going to search for an attorney in Charlotte North Carolina who will take this case on a contingency and start a lawsuit in the process. If anyone reading this knows of someone good in that area please respond and let me know.

    Nov. 22 2020 update.
    It's now been three years and one month since I was released. To date the case still has not been dismissed. I contacted an attorney about two months ago. One in North Carolina. After telling him what had happened he told me that the way that the law is written in North Carolina makes it very difficult if not impossible to sue the state or the county. They've written safeguards into their law which adequately protect them from suit even for negligence. The only suits that have been successful have been wrongful death and so the way the law reads as long as they keep you alive even if you've lost eyesight or limbs Etc they've done their job. Can't get them to dismiss it haven't been able to figure out how to sue them. Have even lost another insurance company that did a random background check and found the pending charge. It's okay I still keep my head up above water.

    March 13 2021.
    I have been asked many times to update on the situation as I can. Well it has now been 3 1/2 years since the arrest. There was NO progress for 3 years. I just found out on Monday, that unbeknownst to me the case had been dismissed without the ability to charge me again back in August. 7 months ago. My attorney wasn’t notified, I wasn’t notified on anything. WOW! The good new is it is now officially behind me. The bad news is, I probably won’t ever be able to recoup financially what I have lost not to mention the sight in my right eye.

    The good new as well? This actually was used by God to work out in my favor. Through the trials that was caused by the arrest and losing everything, I got tougher and more creative. I launched a music career that I had let go of clear back in 2003. I began to write songs and put a band together and praise God, if it wasn't for all of these circumstances coming together, This probably wouldn't have ever happened. Life is not what I expected, but it is good. Look my up on youtube! Glenn Baker and my song Freedom and No New Normal. Thanks for all of the encouragement the last 3 plus years.​
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2023

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