JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge says a county is liable for damages to a Mississippi woman who was jailed 96 days without seeing a judge, setting a jury trial in March to determine the amount.
U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock made the ruling Tuesday in the case of Jessica Jauch, who is suing Choctaw County and Sheriff Cloyd Halford.
Aycock had originally denied Jauch's lawsuit, saying that Jauch being forced to spend 3 months in jail without being offered bail or an attorney did not violate her constitutional rights. An appeals court reinstated the lawsuit last year, calling Jauch's detention "unjust and unfair."
The ruling comes as the county asks the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the appeals court or at least find the county doesn't have to pay.
Jauch was jailed in 2012 after being accused of illegally selling eight tablets of alprazolam (Xanax) to someone. She had been indicted by a grand jury and was arrested during a traffic stop.
Jauch was eventually cleared after video didn't show her committing a crime. The video simply showed Jauch borrowing $40 from a friend, who happened to be working as a confidential informant at the time. When Jauch finally got an attorney who was able to watch the video, it was determined that the informant used her own pills to frame Jauch in an effort to get leniency for her own crimes. The case against Jauch was dismissed in 2013.
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