LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – She was only supposed to spend two days in jail, but was wrongly kept locked up in the Clark County Jail for five months.
On Monday, prosecutors dropped all current charges against Destiny Hoffman, 34, but it appears her next step is a civil lawsuit.
"Clearly something wrong happened," said Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull.
If it wasn't for a deputy prosecutor discovering the oversight while reviewing documents, Mull said Hoffman would most likely still be behind bars.
Back in August Hoffman was ordered to serve 48 hours in jail as part of a county drug treatment program. After the two days, she was to be held for further evaluation and recommendation for treatment. The recommendation never happened.
Come to find out, the same thing happened to Jason O'Connor in Judge Jerry Jacobi's courtroom.
"Evidently in these two cases, none of the follow up that might typically occur in drug court did occur and therefore those individuals did remain in the jail long after these ordered sentences have been served," said Mull.
Hoffman's public defender, Nathan Masingo, had no idea what had happened until last week. That's because when you enter drug court, you agree to admit guilt of your charges.
"Once you plead, the public defenders office withdraws from the case, our job is done at that point. We are not involved in the drug court program at all," said Masingo.
Masingo said Hoffman wrote two letters to Judge Jacobi and the drug court staff trying to get their attention while she was locked up.
"Somebody is asleep at the wheel up there," said Masingo. "You can't violate people's constitutional rights."
Now Hoffman has hired a Louisville attorney. "I believe she is going to file a disciplinary complaint with the state on Judge Jacobi," said Masingo. "I'm not sure what will come of that, but I know definitely at the very least a lawsuit is going to be filed against the county."
Mull said he is not aware of any other inmates at this time that have been held over their sentence, but has asked the deputy prosecutor to do a thorough review.
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