OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma mother who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling marijuana worth $31, released, then arrested again for unpaid court fees has been released from jail after several donors paid her outstanding balance.
Patricia Spottedcrow was released from the Oklahoma County Jail just after 3 p.m. Wednesday after she was arrested Monday on a bench warrant for owing the Kingfisher County Court Clerk’s office $3,569.76, $1,139.90 of which had to be paid for her to be released.
The clerk’s office confirms to News 4 that seven strangers paid off Spottedcrow’s entire $3,569.76 balance.
Spottedcrow is finally free of all the debt incurred as part of her punishment for selling a $30 bag of weed a decade ago.
KINGFISHER, Okla. – Another twist in the legal fate of an Oklahoma mother who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling marijuana worth $31.
“We see a lot of folks who have just absurdly long sentences for what most of the public would regard as really low-level crimes,” said Nicole Mcafee, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the ACLU of Oklahoma.
In 2010, Patricia Spottedcrow had no prior arrests and her story put sentencing in the national spotlight.
Although she was released early from prison back in 2012, the shadow of that crime is now following her again.
Oklahoma City Police arrested Spottedcrow on September 9, 2019, solely on outstanding warrants out of Kingfisher County.
The Kingfisher County Court Clerk’s office tells us it was a cost collection bench warrant, filed back in 2018.
“We ask folks for years and years to continue to not have any interaction with law enforcement, to pay these fines and fees, and to pay for this supervision. In a way that we just often times set folks up for failure,” said Mcafee.
Documents show that Spottedcrow owes the court $1,139.90.
Once that is paid she can be released, but she will have more fines and fees to pay from her latest arrest and jail time.
She also has fines and fees to pay from past court costs.
If she can’t find a way to pay all of this off, she risks being put back in jail again.
“The average person who’s working out there on an hourly job, can’t afford that,” said legal expert Scott Adams. “And the more time you wait, the more money you owe them and it’s just a vicious cycle.”
Spottedcrow also battling the legal terms of her early release.
The district attorney in Kingfisher County revoked her bond back in 2018.
Court documents show it’s because she “failed to report to her probation officer once a month” and because she told a police officer she had “consumed beer on or about the 28th day of July 2017.”
Spottedcrow owes the court a total of $3,569.76 in court fees but needs the $1,139.90 to be released.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Kingfisher County Court Clerk’s office says people have been calling in to help pay that $1,139.90.
They tell News 4 several hundred dollars have been paid toward the amount she needs to get out of jail.
If you would like to pay a portion of the costs, call the Kingfisher County Court Clerk at 405-375-3813. They will take payment over the phone.