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Mother of wandering Richmond child has warrant for arrest in Georgia

RICHMOND, Va. — A prosecutor in the Richmond’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is reviewing new information brought to light by CBS 6 about a Richmond mom charged with felony child neglect after her son was found wandering on Broad Street three different times in four days.

Judge Sharon Gregory Jacobs granted Michelle Knighten, age 39, a $10,000 secured bond on Friday.

Jacobs opted to grant Knighten bond despite four prior DWI charges, stating Knighten was not considered a threat to the community and she did not have a history of missing her court dates.

Yet court records in Charlottesville indicate that Knighten twice failed to appear in court on a second DUI charge.

In both instances, she was found guilty.

CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone said it is possible the prosecutors did not find the “contempt of court” information in Knighten’s file.

“That’s something that they didn’t know at the time, and it might have changed the equation some and it might have affected the decision of the judge,” Stone said.

Knighten’s neighbor, Mizante Sorilla, said she was surprised to learn about the two failure to appears on Knighten’s record.

“If they think there is a chance, even a slight chance you might not show up for court, they not letting you out, so I don’t know if they got strings pulled,” Sorilla said.

Knighten also has an outstanding warrant for her arrest for a felony theft charge from 2009 in Chatham County, Georgia, according to court records.

“That’s crazy,” Sorilla said.

Court records show a sheriff could not locate Knighten to serve her the warrant.

“Normally, if there is a warrant for your arrest in another state they would put a detainer on you while you’re in jail, so the electronic system is connected, all the states are connected,” Stone said.  “So, if she is in the fugitive file in another state that would be on record in Virginia, and when Virginia picked her up it would show and they would put a detainer on her and Georgia would make the decision whether they wanted her held.”

Richmond Police spokesperson James Mercante said they are researching that warrant with the detective in charge in the case.

Mercante said the department is not yet sure if RPD knew about that warrant after they arrested Knighten.



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