Serton Wins Appeal, Still Jailed

By: Garrett Sheehan
By: Garrett Sheehan

For the last three years, the Lauderdale County Jail has been home for Bobby Serton.

"The system has not been fair to me. I have not gotten justice," said Serton by phone from jail.

His trouble began when he failed to make child support payments.

Chancery Judge Sarah Springer sent him to jail, because Serton has refused to comply. However, now the Mississippi Court of Appeals and Mississippi Supreme Court have reversed the original contempt charge.

"We have a right to know why he's been behind bars for three years and why he isn't being released now," said Obie Clark, president of the Lauderdale County chapter of the NAACP.

But the issue is not that simple. Serton has other contempt charges to deal with, and most importantly, he needs to file a financial statement required by Chancery Court.

"He's been given the opportunity time and time again," said Bill Jacob, the attorney who represented Serton's ex-wife in their divorce. "If someone got the papers together, all he has to do is sign them."

However, Serton says he can't do that while on 23-hour lock down at the jail. So, for now, he'll stay behind bars.

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