NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Offbeat

October 13, 2009

NC man in jail a week for mistaken identity

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say a 44-year-old North Carolina man spent a week in jail because he has the same name as a suspect 23 years younger.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported Saturday that Jesse Ray Hardy Jr. of Greenville was arrested Monday, then taken to jail 160 miles away to face charges of resisting an officer, breaking and entering and failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Court officials say the real suspect shares the same name and hometown, but is not related.

The mix-up wasn't realized until Friday, despite court appearances in both Pitt and Guilford counties.

Judge Susan Bray apologized to Hardy as she worked to get him released.

But he didn't have a way home.

Bray, prosecutors, defense attorneys and bailiffs collected $58 to buy Hardy lunch and a bus ticket back home.

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