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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Third person comes forward concerning Clark County drug court "

Updating the ILB post from a few hours ago, headed "'A Big Screw Up': Woman sentenced to two days in Clark County jail serves five months," WHAS 11, Louisville, is now reporting:

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A third person is now coming forward saying she spent months behind bars when she was only supposed to be there a few days.

It’s the latest in our continuing investigation into Clark County Indiana’s Drug Court.

This all comes one day after the director of that court was fired. A Louisville attorney is now preparing lawsuits to file against Clark County.

“I just felt like I was a hostage just sitting there,” Ashleigh Hendricks Santiago said.

Santiago is a participant in drug court. The program serves as rehabilitation. In May she violated the terms of drug court and was sent to jail for six days. But she wasn't released until late October.

“Worrying, wondering what's going on, why me. Why hasn't anyone got back with me? I was seeing other participants come out and yet I'm still sitting there being forgotten about,” Santiago said.

Santiago is the latest to come forward with complaints about drug court.

“There are safe guards put in place to prevent whomever to put people in jail without answers and those safe guards were ignored in that case,” Mike Augustus, Santiago’s attorney, said. “I plan to file a lawsuit due to those violations of my client’s constitutional rights.”

Augustus says he is also filing a lawsuit on behalf of another drug court participant Amy Bennett.

“They come to my house. Jeremy Snelling put handcuffs on me told me I was under arrest and put me in the back of the car while Susan Knoebel searched my purse,” Bennett said.

Jeremy Snelling is the bailiff of drug court and is suspended from his job right now. Amy Bennett is the second person to say she was unlawfully arrested by Snelling.

The drug court director, Susan Knoebel, has now been fired.

Snelling and Knoebel did not have arresting powers. The Indiana State Police are doing a criminal investigation.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 29, 2014 08:00 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts