Accused Prison Escapee Released After 5 Weeks in Jail

Judy Lynn Hayman, also known as Jamie Lewis, was released Friday night

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An ex-fugitive has been released after sitting five weeks in a San Diego jail for a crime for which she had already served time. NBC 7's Omari Fleming reports on this major misunderstanding. (Published Saturday, Mar 15, 2014)

    A frustrated ex-fugitived has been released after sitting five weeks in a San Diego jail for a crime for which she had already served time.

    On Friday, a San Diego judge ordered the release of Judy Lynn Hayman -- also known as Jamie Lewis -- who escaped from  the Huron Valley Correctional Facility south of Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1977 while serving an at least 16-month sentence for attempted larceny.

    Thirty-six years later, she was found living as Jamie Lewis in a Hillcrest apartment, where San Diego Police arrested her on Feb. 3, 2014 on a Michigan warrant issued in 1977.

    The 60-year-old woman has been in the Las Colinas jail for five weeks, but on Friday, the tides turned in Lewis’ favor.

    She proved to a judge she had changed her name from Judy Lynn Hayman one year after taking care of a felony arrest warrant in Michigan.

    A newly recovered part of Lewis’ court file showed that Lewis returned to Michigan in 1982 to deal with an outstanding felony warrant for her 1977 prison escape.

    She was sentenced to credit for time served, her attorney Andrew Hiller said.

    But for some reason, the warrant for her arrest was still listed as active. 

    "I don't know if it says something about the justice system as a whole. It definitely that this situation, there was a significant problem," Hiller said.

    This is the second time ex-fugitive, who legally changed her name to Jamie Lewis in 1983, has been jailed on the cleared-up crime.

    In Nevada, Lewis was arrested on the attempted larceny charge from Michigan, but authorities determined her sentence had been suspended, so she was let off.

    Lewis had to prove the same thing to the San Diego judge. She was released Friday evening from the Las Colinas jail.

    "Anyone in that situation would be frustrated. You don't get that month and a half of your life back," said Hiller.

    Despite her frustration, Hiller said Lewis was elated to be out of jail. Right now, she just wants to spend time with family and friends.

    Lewis' son told NBC 7 his mother is likely not going back to Michigan. He said his family had been shaken by the entire experience, and they just want her back home.

    There is no word yet on if Lewis plans to file a civil suit in compensation for her most recent jail time.