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Interview with Louisa

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Louisa: I had just moved to Florida from out of state. My husband and I met a couple. The male was helping with landscaping. I needed to do Christmas shopping, and I decided to go with his girlfriend. I purchased some things from Sears. She had a Dyson Vacuum and asked me to put it in my buggy. I put the items in my vehicle and she asked me to drop it off at her apartment. That night the Sherriffs dept was knocking on my front door. They had me on tape taking it out to my vehicle, and they told me the vacuum had been stolen. I went down and talked to the detectives. They gave me about a week to turn myself in. I bailed out, and went through the process of going through court, etc. The girl had given me a fake name. I ended up taking probation,and went in to my probation officer, and then I was violated because I wrote a check that had insufficient funds.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Louisa: Yes, see above.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Louisa: I had to wear shackles, a belly chain and handcuffs to court. I had to wear black and white stripes. Sat up in the jury box and waited for my name to be called. No communication with loved ones in the courtroom was allowed. My probation was reinstated in court, but I was taken back to jail and had to wait several hours to be released.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Louisa: Once you are arrested, within 24 hours they take you to "first appearance" which is video court. You can't ask any questions. You give your name and the judge tells you if you have a bond or if you are being held without bond. He told me my court date, and I was sent back for 47 days. I spent 47 days in jail waiting to go to court to have my probation reinstated. When it's a probation violation they hold you without bond.

Read about sentencing in the Bay County Jail

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