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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Philadelphia Woman Wrongfully Jailed for Texas Crime Due to Mistaken Identity – NBC10 Philadelphia

What to Know

  • Julie Hudson, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student from Philadelphia, was arrested and taken into custody on Jan. 5, 2023, after she was mistakenly identified as the suspect in a Texas shoplifting incident with a similar name.
  • Hudson’s family reached out to NBC10 who contacted Philadelphia Police on Wednesday.
  • A Texas district attorney’s office dismissed the charges against Hudson and Philadelphia police told NBC10 they requested that Hudson be released from custody.

A Philadelphia woman spent nearly a week in jail after being wrongfully arrested for a Texas crime due to a case of mistaken identity.

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“When you know that you didn’t do anything wrong, it makes you feel crazy,” Julie Hudson told NBC10 after leaving custody.

The ordeal began with a shoplifting incident at a sports store in Webster, Texas, — that’s near Houston — back in May of last year. Webster Police identified the suspect as a woman named Julie Hudson. 

A surveillance photo of the suspect looked similar to social media images of the 31-year-old Ph.D. student from Philadelphia who is also named Julie Hudson.

Hudson, who was unaware she was mistakenly identified as the shoplifting suspect, soon found herself repeatedly being denied jobs. She then found out she had a criminal record. 

When Hudson visited a Philadelphia Police station to find out why, she was arrested and placed in custody on Jan. 5. 

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“Everybody is sure that you did something, that you’re [a] criminal, but you know that that’s not who you are,” Hudson said.

After her arrest, Hudson’s family reached out to law enforcement in both Texas and Philadelphia to get her out. 

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Texas then filed a motion on Tuesday to dismiss the charges against Hudson, citing insufficient evidence. 

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“We accept charges based on the sworn evidence presented to us by law enforcement,” a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office wrote. “Tuesday, Webster Police notified the court of the error. We dismissed the case within five minutes and immediately contacted Philadelphia Police to release our hold on Ms. Hudson.”

Léelo en español aquí.

NBC10 reached out to Philadelphia police on Wednesday after being contacted by Hudson’s family. 

“PPD became aware of the warrant being dismissed on 1/11/23 at approximately 5 p.m. after receiving a media inquiry,” a Philadelphia police spokesperson wrote. “At that time, we immediately requested that Ms. Hudson be released from custody and are actively working with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons to process her release in as expeditious a manner as possible.” 

While Hudson was finally released late Wednesday night, her family told NBC10 they still need to get the mistake taken off her record. 

“If it had not been for the media and the press, nobody would have taken the time to do what they did today,” Hudson’s sister, Charon Hudson, said. 

A Philadelphia woman spent nearly a week in jail for a crime in Texas she didn’t commit due to a case of mistaken identity. NBC10’s Leah Uko has her story.

As for Hudson herself, she is seeking answers.

“I want to find out what happened,” she said. “I want to find out how this happened and I want it to not happen to anyone else ever again.”

The family is also considering taking legal action.

“Julie just so happened to have a family that was able to get the information together, if we needed to get the funds together,” Charon Hudson said. “It’s so many people out there that don’t have that. And that’s what struck a chord in me.”

A Philadelphia woman is home with her family after she was wrongfully charged and jailed for a shoplifting in Texas due to a case of mistaken identity. NBC10’s Miguel Martinez-Valle has reactions from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Thursday afternoon, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner released a statement on Hudson’s ordeal.

“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office became aware of Julie Hudson’s predicament last evening, thanks in part to media reports out of Houston and in Philly,” Krasner wrote. “I am not aware of any efforts by Texas authorities to contact my office directly about the misidentification of Ms. Hudson, which led to her arrest by Philadelphia Police on January 6 based on a fugitive warrant. Once the District Attorney’s Office independently became aware that Webster Police had confirmed to local media that they had wrongly sought Ms. Hudson for arrest, we mobilized quickly to make sure Ms. Hudson was released from custody as soon as possible. 

“Julie Hudson is a Philadelphia resident who has no criminal record and is pursuing a Ph.D. What happened to her should not have happened, and her family deserves a great deal of credit for successfully advocating for her freedom with the media in Houston and in Philadelphia. I am also thankful for the quick action of our Charging Unit, led by Supervising ADA Amanda Hedrick; city Managing Director Tumar Alexander; the First Judicial District; Northwest Detectives; and Department of Prisons for effectuating Ms. Hudson’s release within a matter of hours. I am proud to lead a prosecutor’s office that works closely with law enforcement and the judiciary to ensure a rigorous process of approving arrest and search warrants.”

Krasner also apologized to Hudson and her family on behalf of every agency involved.

“As an institution, law enforcement owes you an apology,” Krasner said. “We ought to be able to do better than to rely on relatives and rely on the media to be a notification process to get you out of jail six days later without your meds.”

While Krasner said Philadelphia Police followed standard protocol during the ordeal, he also added changes in information sharing between jurisdictions can help prevent similar mistakes from happening again.

“If somebody wants us to send someone back, which we will do, under the detainer, there’s nothing wrong with letting us read your affidavit of probable cause,” he said. “At least we might have picked up the phone and said, ‘You did what?! Let me get this straight. You used social media to make an identification? Why else do you think this Philadelphian is committing retail thefts in Texas?'”

Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement as well.

“We commend the rapid response and coordination between the Police Department, Courts, District Attorney’s Office, and Department of Prisons to ensure that Julie Hudson was released as quickly and as safely as possible,” Kenney wrote. “We are dismayed by the ordeal that she and her family went through due to an erroneous warrant from another jurisdiction, and thankful that she is now home.” 



story by The Texas Tribune Source link

What to Know

  • Julie Hudson, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student from Philadelphia, was arrested and taken into custody on Jan. 5, 2023, after she was mistakenly identified as the suspect in a Texas shoplifting incident with a similar name.
  • Hudson’s family reached out to NBC10 who contacted Philadelphia Police on Wednesday.
  • A Texas district attorney’s office dismissed the charges against Hudson and Philadelphia police told NBC10 they requested that Hudson be released from custody.

A Philadelphia woman spent nearly a week in jail after being wrongfully arrested for a Texas crime due to a case of mistaken identity.

“When you know that you didn’t do anything wrong, it makes you feel crazy,” Julie Hudson told NBC10 after leaving custody.

The ordeal began with a shoplifting incident at a sports store in Webster, Texas, — that’s near Houston — back in May of last year. Webster Police identified the suspect as a woman named Julie Hudson. 

A surveillance photo of the suspect looked similar to social media images of the 31-year-old Ph.D. student from Philadelphia who is also named Julie Hudson.

Hudson, who was unaware she was mistakenly identified as the shoplifting suspect, soon found herself repeatedly being denied jobs. She then found out she had a criminal record. 

When Hudson visited a Philadelphia Police station to find out why, she was arrested and placed in custody on Jan. 5. 

“Everybody is sure that you did something, that you’re [a] criminal, but you know that that’s not who you are,” Hudson said.

After her arrest, Hudson’s family reached out to law enforcement in both Texas and Philadelphia to get her out. 

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Texas then filed a motion on Tuesday to dismiss the charges against Hudson, citing insufficient evidence. 

“We accept charges based on the sworn evidence presented to us by law enforcement,” a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office wrote. “Tuesday, Webster Police notified the court of the error. We dismissed the case within five minutes and immediately contacted Philadelphia Police to release our hold on Ms. Hudson.”

Léelo en español aquí.

NBC10 reached out to Philadelphia police on Wednesday after being contacted by Hudson’s family. 

“PPD became aware of the warrant being dismissed on 1/11/23 at approximately 5 p.m. after receiving a media inquiry,” a Philadelphia police spokesperson wrote. “At that time, we immediately requested that Ms. Hudson be released from custody and are actively working with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons to process her release in as expeditious a manner as possible.” 

While Hudson was finally released late Wednesday night, her family told NBC10 they still need to get the mistake taken off her record. 

“If it had not been for the media and the press, nobody would have taken the time to do what they did today,” Hudson’s sister, Charon Hudson, said. 

A Philadelphia woman spent nearly a week in jail for a crime in Texas she didn’t commit due to a case of mistaken identity. NBC10’s Leah Uko has her story.

As for Hudson herself, she is seeking answers.

“I want to find out what happened,” she said. “I want to find out how this happened and I want it to not happen to anyone else ever again.”

The family is also considering taking legal action.

“Julie just so happened to have a family that was able to get the information together, if we needed to get the funds together,” Charon Hudson said. “It’s so many people out there that don’t have that. And that’s what struck a chord in me.”

A Philadelphia woman is home with her family after she was wrongfully charged and jailed for a shoplifting in Texas due to a case of mistaken identity. NBC10’s Miguel Martinez-Valle has reactions from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Thursday afternoon, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner released a statement on Hudson’s ordeal.

“The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office became aware of Julie Hudson’s predicament last evening, thanks in part to media reports out of Houston and in Philly,” Krasner wrote. “I am not aware of any efforts by Texas authorities to contact my office directly about the misidentification of Ms. Hudson, which led to her arrest by Philadelphia Police on January 6 based on a fugitive warrant. Once the District Attorney’s Office independently became aware that Webster Police had confirmed to local media that they had wrongly sought Ms. Hudson for arrest, we mobilized quickly to make sure Ms. Hudson was released from custody as soon as possible. 

“Julie Hudson is a Philadelphia resident who has no criminal record and is pursuing a Ph.D. What happened to her should not have happened, and her family deserves a great deal of credit for successfully advocating for her freedom with the media in Houston and in Philadelphia. I am also thankful for the quick action of our Charging Unit, led by Supervising ADA Amanda Hedrick; city Managing Director Tumar Alexander; the First Judicial District; Northwest Detectives; and Department of Prisons for effectuating Ms. Hudson’s release within a matter of hours. I am proud to lead a prosecutor’s office that works closely with law enforcement and the judiciary to ensure a rigorous process of approving arrest and search warrants.”

Krasner also apologized to Hudson and her family on behalf of every agency involved.

“As an institution, law enforcement owes you an apology,” Krasner said. “We ought to be able to do better than to rely on relatives and rely on the media to be a notification process to get you out of jail six days later without your meds.”

While Krasner said Philadelphia Police followed standard protocol during the ordeal, he also added changes in information sharing between jurisdictions can help prevent similar mistakes from happening again.

“If somebody wants us to send someone back, which we will do, under the detainer, there’s nothing wrong with letting us read your affidavit of probable cause,” he said. “At least we might have picked up the phone and said, ‘You did what?! Let me get this straight. You used social media to make an identification? Why else do you think this Philadelphian is committing retail thefts in Texas?'”

Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement as well.

“We commend the rapid response and coordination between the Police Department, Courts, District Attorney’s Office, and Department of Prisons to ensure that Julie Hudson was released as quickly and as safely as possible,” Kenney wrote. “We are dismayed by the ordeal that she and her family went through due to an erroneous warrant from another jurisdiction, and thankful that she is now home.” 



story by The Texas Tribune Source link

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