Grandmother who couldn't afford $300 bail died after spending last 150 days of her life in jail

Monica Otayza
Dec 21, 2018
08:47 A.M.

A black senior citizen inmate who couldn't afford to post $300 bail after spending her last 150 days in jail has passed away.


According to court records 61-year-old inmate, Janice Dotson-Stephens, was held in custody of the Bexar County Sherrif's Office since July on a criminal charge of trespassing on private property. Clerk records show that this misdemeanor was her first arrest in Bexar County.

Officials of the Sherrif's office announced that Dotson-Stephens has passed away of natural causes, and had previously been held at the infirmary at the annex detention center for quite a while.


As for why she stayed in jail for so long, officials have not released a statement, especially since she could have easily been bailed out at $300. Moreover, court records show that she refused to be interviewed the day after her arrest, and on four consecutive days in late July.

On August 4, she refused to be interviewed yet again, and a court-appointed attorney was instead assigned to represent her. On August 27, she was requested to go through a psychological evaluation just 10 days after she refused to make a court appearance.


Although the results of that psychological evaluation never came to light, it seems that Janice was indeed going through something in the latter part of her life. After she was caught trespassing for an unknown reason, this has ultimately led to her demise and has made her experience the most unusual things prior to her death.


In the end, it was never clear whether or not she had her family's support throughout her court case, or what her intention was for trespassing, especially since she never allowed herself to be interrogated by police. Instead, she chose to suffer in silence, which became too much to bear towards the end.

Rest In Peace, Janice.

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