NOLA woman mistakenly jailed for days in Jackson County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

NOLA woman mistakenly jailed for days in Jackson County

Jacqueline Renell Charles wrongfully spent two weeks behind bars in two states. (Photo source: WLOX News) Jacqueline Renell Charles wrongfully spent two weeks behind bars in two states. (Photo source: WLOX News)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Horrible and humiliating. That's how Jacqueline Renell Charles said she feels after spending two weeks behind bars for a crime she didn't commit. 
Charles was released from the Jackson County Adult Detention Center on December 2, but she's still haunted by thoughts of being locked up. 

Jacqueline Renell Charles is a busy wife, mother and daughter with a leading position in her company. On November 18, she was pulled over in Louisiana for speeding. When officials ran her license, records showed a warrant for her arrest. She was being accused of stealing an 18-wheeler - a crime Charles had no part in. 

"When I was initially was arrested. They didn't tell me that I had the same social. They just told me that my name matched and my date of birth match," Charles explained. 

Confused and scared, she was locked up in St. Charles Parish, then extradited to Jackson County, MS. Her family quickly hired attorney Sean Tindell in Gulfport who found a picture of the woman authorities actually wanted. Beyond that, the women didn't have the same middle name, date of birth, or social security number.

"One of the key factors that the investigator found was in the file. The girl that was originally arrested had a tattoo on her arm that said, "Earl." So they were able to verify on this lady that she had no tattoos," said Tindell.

After Tindell brought the information to prosecutors, a judge signed an order to release Charles. 

"I just started crying and I was just like, 'Thank you, Jesus. They are finally listening to me.' Because I kept telling them it wasn't me," said Charles.

"One of the first words she said to me when I got her into my car and we were headed back from Jackson County was, 'Jail's not a place for people like me,'" Tindell recalled. 

WLOX News reached out to officials to learn how the discrepancy happened, but we haven't yet received a response. Tindell, who is also a state senator, wants to propose legislation this year that requires officials to have more identifiers before extraditing people on outstanding warrants.

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