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(Screenshot: KSAT)

Court records confirm that an inmate who died while in the custody of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office on Friday had been held in jail on a $300 bond since July.

According to KSAT,  61-year-old Janice Dotson-Stephens was arrested July 17 on a criminal charge of trespassing on private property.

The misdemeanor charge was reportedly her first arrest.

KSAT reports, Dotson-Stephens seemingly died of natural causes.

Officials have not said why Dotson-Stephens stayed in the jail so long, since most bail bond companies require a 10 percent payment to bail you out. Meaning Dotson-Stephens could have been set free for just $30.

Dotson-Stephens reportedly refused to be interviewed about her case the day after she was arrested and again for four straight days in late July, KSAT reports. She refused once again on Aug. 4.

On Aug. 8, a court-appointed attorney was assigned to her case, and when she refused to make a court appearance on Aug. 17, she was ordered to go through a psychological evaluation on Aug. 27.

Family members said they were unaware Dotson-Stephens was in jail. They say they thought she was being treated at a state hospital.

Dotson-Stephens’ daughter-in-law, Leticia Dotson, told KSAT that she and her husband were devastated to find out that Dotson-Stephens had died in jail.

“We just felt that she shouldn’t have died as a criminal in the jailhouse,”Dotson said. “She wasn’t a criminal. She had mental health illness.”

Dotson told the station that her mother-in-law had a history of mental illness. She said that in previous encounters with police, Dotson-Stephens was evaluated and transferred to the state hospital.

Dotson said that none of her mother-in-law’s family members had been contacted, something she thinks could have saved her life.

“If it changed and we had to bail her out before the process of getting her to the state hospital, we would have done that,” Dotson said.

“She had people who loved her and family who would have easily paid the $30 to get her out of jail if that’s what we had to do to take the next step,” she added.

Dotson told KSAT that she hopes the staff at the Bexar County Jail and at the state hospital will improve communication with families so this will not happen to someone else’s loved one.

“If your family has a mental illness, it’s not in their control,” she said. “She shouldn’t die as a criminal. They should die as, ‘This person had a mental illness and this is what happened.’”

The situation has caught the attention of California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, who tweeted about it Tuesday morning.

“A woman was held in jail for six months because she couldn’t afford to pay her $300 bond. She just died in custody. This is tragic and exactly why we need to reform our money bail system,” Harris wrote.

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16 thoughts on “Grandmother Who Could Have Been Freed For $30 Died After Spending The Last 150 Days Of Her Life In Jail

  1. And stop trying to hide what your saying Be//X/Are is under investigation and know there old X bodies back up for y’al.b’s ran a pattern on all yal.,that’s back up! I doubt Yu all get bail.so know your B’s ole bodies back up.and know your WE’S B’s and it matches.wonder how yal got away 9yrs????? Lol and know the X’s child and know the age sign color and your belt and know everybody ass WASNT GOING RO BE WHIPPED.ITS CALLED DO TUR CRIME YU WILL GET TUR TIME.AND KNIW TYR OPTIINS YU GAVE A 21YR.OLD..KMSL!

  2. Everything stated of any one has something to do with mental illness.#2Get these old bodies old fraud and insurance delays ready and be ready for Federal Courts and warrants.and let’s see who be in jail without mental illnesses.Sorry people never cared to do there jobs. Take the ole pattern down and get ready for the NEW/NEW.And it’s know need to hide a old emmitt Teal hate crime.you showing blacks downgrading them and have allowed the rest to be killed or murdered. #1.5 now it want go another nine years. Sorry and like I said know Job,and that’s Holy Bible.For all those thought they were getting away.Pattern up,and wind blowing.

  3. How can you not know where your mother is for 36 months? They didn’t know and didn’t care. Her son should be ashamed for not looking out for his mother. Having a mentally ill person in your family can be very challenging but you don’t turn your back on them.

  4. How can you not know where your mother is for 36 months? They didn’t know and didn’t care. Her son should be ashamed for not looking out for his mother. Having a mentally ill person in your family can be very challenging but you don’t turn your back on them.

  5. Phoenix Rising on said:

    “Family members said they were unaware Dotson-Stephens was in jail. They say they thought she was being treated at a state hospital.”
    ++++++++
    So, the family knew she was somewhere, just not at home. Even if they thought she was at a mental hospital, did any family member find out what hospital? Why didn’t any family member verify her whereabouts? It appears no one was interested in her whereabouts. They were just content/happy that she was placed in a mental hospital where they wouldn’t have to deal with her.
    +++++++
    Now, they find out she was in jail for HOW MANY MONTHS and died. The family failed miserably!

  6. Jademichael on said:

    So for six months her family did not know where she was…or for that matter even looked for her? But miraculously they were found and informed she died…..
    Don’t need family like that!!!

    • Mac Daddy on said:

      That is Real Talk, my man. We are turning over a new leaf here at BAW. Educated, insightful contributors that don’t subscribe to the plantation mentality and blame game. Take note “Pass it on Accountability” your days are numbered here. Peace

  7. So damn sad, this did NOT have to happen to this woman.
    If she had mental health issues-why didn’t the courts see to her obtaining therapy?
    The SYSTEM totally FAILED in this woman’s case!!!!!!!!!

    • As usual jhuf, you had to put your bigoted spin on a story. The justice system was the cause of this woman’s death. The family is questionable, but how you assumed they’re crack heads, says it all, about what you are. Check yourself….

      • Mac Daddy on said:

        Pass it on, from taking responsibility, you need to stand down byotch. Huf is right on point. This family doesn’t know where grandma is since July? Ah, hell to the NAW, this is squarely on them. Now get out my face, fore’ I Huggy Bear pimp slap you

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