OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma mother who was once locked up for $30 worth of weed has been battling thousands of dollars in court fees for nearly a decade.
On Wednesday, News 4 viewers worked together to pay thousands of dollars in court fees for Patricia Spottedcrow.
Wednesday afternoon she walked out of the Oklahoma County Jail free of nearly $3,500 in legal fees.
“I had no idea how was going to pay this off,” Spottedcrow said. “I knew I was going to be sitting here for a while.”
But that all changed Wednesday when Patricia Spottedcrow was seen walking out of jail no strings attached.
“It’s amazing,” Spottedcrow said. “It feels wonderful. I don’t even know what to say. It feels like I hit the lotto.”
This victory follows a court case that wound through the court system for more than nine years.
News 4 has been covering Spottedcrow’s story since 2011.
The case sparked a national controversy when she was sentenced to 12 years in prison after she busted with a $31 bag of weed.
At the time of her arrest, Spottedcrow had no prior convictions.
She was a single mother of four when News 4 first covered her case. Spottedcrow now has six children. Her husband died last year.
In 2012, Governor Mary Fallin signed off on her early release.
Spottedcrow was left with thousands of dollars in court fees.
As of this week, the fees had grown to $3,569.76.
Recently Spottedcrow had struggled to keep up with the payments.
She was put right back in jail over the weekend after Kingfisher County issued a bench warrant because of the money she still owed.
“Just this whole ordeal and process is exhausting,” Spottedcrow said.
News 4’s Ali Meyer highlighted the arrest on Twitter sparking a social media firestorm.
Strangers were moved to call the Kingfisher County Court Clerk to make payments on Spottedcrow’s behalf over the phone.
On Twitter, one woman commented, “I’m in for a hundred,” and another said, “I’ve got $200.”
In the end, seven strangers chipped in to wipe out Spottedcrow’s entire balance.
News 4 was there as she took her first steps toward freedom again.
“Thank you,” Spottedcrow said. “Thank you to everyone. I don’t know how I was going to do it.”