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Issue fixed: Judge raises bail to prevent absences

August 3rd, 2011 12:14 am by Becky Campbell

A Johnson City woman who failed to keep in contact with her court-appointed attorney won’t have problems with that now after a judge put her back in jail.
Jalesa Jenise Harris, 20, is charged with aggravated robbery and filing a false police report in two unrelated cases.
After hearing that she hadn’t maintained contact with her lawyer, Criminal Court Judge Lynn Brown revoked Harris’ $5,000 bond, ordered her back into custody and set a new bond at $500,000.
“Your lawyer will be able to find you now,” Brown told Harris, who nodded as an officer handcuffed her.
Late last year, Brown appointed Russell Kloosterman to represent Harris, who qualified for legal aid.
In a court appearance for his client on Tuesday, Kloosterman told Brown he had filed a motion to be relieved as her counsel because she hasn’t maintained contact with him.
Kloosterman said the state has made an offer of a plea, but he hasn’t been able to discuss it with her because she hasn’t contacted him and he hasn’t been able to reach her.
Harris disputed Kloosterman’s statements and said she called several times but her attorney didn’t call her back.
Brown asked Harris why she didn’t go sit in his office until she could see him and she said she doesn’t have a car.
It wasn’t an excuse Brown would accept.
“I walked from Johnson City to Hampton for less reason than that one time and then I walked to the Appalachian Trail and jumped in the river,” Brown said.
In May 2009, Harris was charged along with three other people with aggravated robbery. That case involved the four giving a ride to a woman and allegedly robbing her.
In the false report case, Harris reported in April 2010 that three unknown black men entered her apartment and assaulted her. Police determined her live-in boyfriend had beaten her up and her brother shot the man.
During the investigation, police said Harris finally told them she had lied to protect her brother.
Harris is scheduled for her next court appearance on Oct. 17.

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