EXCLUSIVE: Charlotte County man wrongfully jailed for days


PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Angry and demanding justice, John Andrews is speaking exclusively to WINK News about his wrongful arrest.

“This is not just for my behalf, this is for everybody else that this could happen to, because it’s obviously devastating,” Andrews told WINK News Friday.

Andrews, 24, says he was at his brother’s house in Charlotte County Monday afternoon when police showed up saying they had a warrant for his arrest out of Sarasota County for a probation violation.

“I explained to them that I’m not on probation, I have no probation officer, this shouldn’t be happening, this is a mistake,” said Andrews.

Andrews was taken to the Charlotte County Jail, where he spent the next four nights trying to explain he was innocent. He had already served five months in jail in 2014 for violating probation, DUI and marijuana possession.

“When I heard Mr. Andrews had gotten arrested for a violation of probation I was pretty shocked, because I know the last time that we were in court we had terminated his probation and taken care of everything,” Andrews’ attorney Scott Weinberg told WINK News.

A court order obtained by WINK News, signed Thursday by Sarasota County Judge Phyllis Galen, states the warrant was issued “in error”. But Andrews wasn’t released until Friday, after he was transferred to Sarasota County.

“When I got to Sarasota I explained to them what was going on, they thought I was lying, everybody thought I was lying through this whole thing.”

“It’s pretty shocking that Mr. Andrews would have to sit in jail for 4 days after I was telling everybody about the situation,” said Weinberg. “The criminal justice system does work slow… but it is pretty sad when someone can be taken to jail for a crime that didn’t even exist.”

Weinberg says this type of mistake isn’t common but it does happen, and can potentially happen to anyone already in the system. Right now, Weinberg says they’re still trying to find out who is ultimately at fault for the error, and says they’re exploring all legal options.

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