A metro woman is finally free after being wrongfully jailed for two weeks. According to the public defender who found her, she was being held on a warrant that had been dismissed last year.
The public defender's office found the woman while conducting the first inventory of every inmate at the Oklahoma County jail.
After it was discovered earlier this month that Charles Lemons had been sitting in the Oklahoma County Jail for eight months without a court appearance, Public Defender Bob Ravitz, the District Attorney, Sheriff and judge met. Ravitz says they decided to do the inventory.
Giselle Perez, 20, was arrested on February 26, when Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers pulled her over on a traffic stop and discovered she had an active warrant for a 2015 juvenile case. A sheriff's office spokesperson says they also checked and found the active warrant when they booked her into jail. Then, they notified the juvenile court.
A week and a half later, Ravitz and 10 other lawyers, with the help of sheriff's deputies, inventoried all 1,700 jail inmates.
“We went and saw every individual that was in the jail that wasn’t in court that day,” said Ravitz.
Ravitz then checked all those inmates with the system, and that's when he discovered the warrant Perez was being held on had been dismissed back in December. But never recalled.
“Even so, even with all that, someone should have notified the judge that she was in there, so that she could be arraigned,” said Ravitz.
Ravitz said he found several other inmates who had not seen a judge like they were supposed to, including a man who sat in jail for three months on an extradition warrant.
Ravitz says an out-of-date computer system is the biggest problem. But he says if inmates can get in front of a judge, those issues are more likely to be discovered.
Perez had been there 10 days without a first court appearance.
“There was no arraignment date,” said Ravitz. “She could have been in there a lot longer.”
Ravitz says they will be conducting the inmate checks every couple of months.