Woman says she was wrongly jailed over contempt charge

Updated: Oct. 10, 2018 at 11:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A woman says she was wrongly jailed over a contempt of court charge.

“Horrible. Worst day of my life. It was just bad,” said Teeasha Evans.

Evans got a letter late last month saying there was a warrant for her arrest because she was in contempt of court.

“I was thinking like, OK this is a big misunderstanding,” Evans said. “I was like maybe they got something wrong in the system.”

She was racking her brain trying to figure out what this could be all about. Surely, she thought, this wasn't related to child support she'd recently sought from the mother of a minor for whom she had custody.

"I was just thinking this must be some kind of a mix up,” Evans said.

So she went to turn herself in, fully expecting this would be straightened out pretty quickly - but that’s not what happened. She was cuffed and taken before a magistrate who told her she’d have to sit in jail until the next day when she could go to court, almost 24 hours later. That’s because her warrant said "no bond.”

"I wanted to pray but I felt like there was no reason to pray because I felt like I didn't do anything wrong," Evans said.

The next day she went to court and found out she would have to spend four more days in jail.

"I think I cried, I think I cried," Evans said.

Then she says there was some discussion between the judge and the clerks.

“And then [the judge] said ‘Ms. Evans we have it, we’re going to let you out on a personal recognizance bond.’ And I said, ‘what is that? Do I get to go home?’ He said ‘yeah, you get to go home.’"

Officials in the clerk’s office said she had missed three court dates regarding the child support. After the latest one in September, they issued a warrant for her arrest. They say it was a clerical error that prevented her from receiving a bond after she turned herself in. The judge later dismissed the contempt charge because of her that mistake. But, officials maintain she did miss court and the warrant was issued for valid reasons. Evans insists she was not notified of the dates even though she asked.

“I called and went down there before I got the warrant. It was like a month before I got the warrant before I got anything in the mail,” Evans said. "I shouldn’t have had to go through all this over a mistake that a clerk made, a judge made or whoever made.”

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