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Error prompts new arraignment for man charged with stalking
HASTINGS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Newschannel 3’s I-Team has uncovered an error that prompted a new arraignment for a father charged with stalking.
On Tuesday we reported that 23-year-old Timmy Lee Purdum was arrested in Hastings after calling the mother his children 82 times in 72 hours.
Purdum claims he was calling to check up on his son and his girlfriend who is eight-months pregnant with his child. Police say Purdum was never threatening and was only charged with two misdemeanors, but his bail was set at $20,000.
Purdum was charged with stalking and possession of marijuana when he was arrested.
While speaking with the district court, Newschannel 3 realized that Purdum’s paperwork listed a prior crime that he didn’t commit and shouldn’t be on his record. The court clerk immediately contacted the prosecutor and the magistrate about the error and they managed to file paperwork again before 5:00 pm and now Purdum will be arraigned once more.
Newschannel 3 started looking into why a 23-year-old who is employed, poses no flight risk, and has no criminal history would have his bail set at $20,000 for two misdemeanors.
Documents list Timmy Lee Purdum the second’s possession of marijuana charge as a second offense, making it a high court misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison. However it was actually a charge that was brought against his father.
“He mentioned that yeah, there’s a charge here from 2006 and I said, ‘Well I would have only been a junior in high school at the time,’” said Purdum junior.
It was actually his father who was convicted in 2006 prior to receiving a medical marijuana card after two bouts with brain cancer.
“I told him, ‘Yeah, I’ve never been in trouble before,” said Purdum junior. “He said, ‘I’ll just have to take that up in court.’”
The district court and the prosecutor attribute the error to the fact that the father and son carry the same first, middle, and last name, but it’s still an error that hurts.
Purdum senior says making bail was a struggle.
“Put up just about everything that we have,” said Purdum senior. “I didn’t want my son to sit in jail any longer than he had to.”
Now they’re hoping cooler heads will prevail when Purdum junior is arraigned again on Thursday.
“Reduce the bail, plus throw the stalking charges out cause it wasn’t stalking,” said Purdum senior. “I’d be the same way if I couldn’t see my kid.”
The Purdum family says they knew nothing about the re-arraignment before Newschannel 3 told them. However the prosecutor says she will still be requesting a $20,000 bond, saying it is needed to make sure Purdum junior stops calling his ex-girlfriend.