Another drug court inmate released after being held over - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Another Clark Co drug court inmate released after being held over

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Thursday was an overdue family reunion for Clifford and his 8-year-old son. Thursday was an overdue family reunion for Clifford and his 8-year-old son.
Destiny Hoffman and Jason O'Connor (Source: Clark County Jail) Destiny Hoffman and Jason O'Connor (Source: Clark County Jail)
Circuit Court Judge Jerry Jacobi Circuit Court Judge Jerry Jacobi
Larry Wilder Larry Wilder

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – Another Clark County inmate locked up in drug court is released after being held over.

Nathan Clifford was held over in drug court on two different occasions according to his attorney, Nathan Masingo.

Masingo said if he didn't contact the court, Clifford would still be locked up with no bond.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Charges dropped after woman spends 5 months in jail for 2 day sentence]

Thursday was an overdue family reunion for Clifford and his 8-year-old son. Earlier this month the court issued a warrant for his arrest. Clifford said he chose not to turn himself in.

"I made that decision, but I didn't see any other way out," said Clifford. "I contacted lawyers, there was nothing. It's like once you're in, you're in until they decide what they want to do."

[PREVIOUS STORY: Clark County judge fires drug program chief]

Two weeks ago Clifford was arrested at the hospital where his girlfriend just gave birth to their newborn son.

State law requires inmates be brought before a judge within 72 hours of arrest or they must be released. That did not happen. Previously, Clifford was held for nearly three months without bond.

[PREVIOUS STORY: More Clark County inmates held over sentence]

"I take full responsibility," said Clifford. "I brought it on myself, but it seems like it has just gotten way out of hand."

Clifford joins at least a handful of other drug court inmates who claim their constitutional rights have been violated.

Judge Jerry Jacobi oversees the program. His attorney Larry Wilder said problems began when the judge learned two drug court administrators violated policy. The judge asked for an internal investigation and things began to unravel.

One administrator, Susan Knoebel, was fired on January 28. "As a result of that it has become difficult for the court in many ways to address some of the issues that have been raised publicly and have been raised as a result of Judge Jacobi's own initiated investigation," said Wilder.

Wilder claimed the judge was not aware inmates were being over held. "The judge had no idea," said Wilder.

On Thursday a judge released Clifford from drug court all together. He was given credit for time served and will now be on probation.

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