Philadelphia woman spends week in jail for crime in Texas she didn't commit

"It's really tragic. It is sad. It's shameful," said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

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Thursday, January 12, 2023
Philadelphia woman released from jail after case of mistaken identity
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A Philadelphia woman spent a week in jail for a crime in Texas that authorities now say she didn't commit.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia woman spent a week in jail for a crime in Texas that authorities now say she didn't commit.

Julie Hudson was released around midnight on Wednesday, but there are still many unanswered questions.

"It's really tragic. It is sad. It's shameful," said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Julie Hudson is a Ph.D. student who just started a program at Holy Family University.

"A woman who by every indication was completely innocent of an alleged robbery and retail theft that occurred in Texas," said Krasner.

Following the theft, police in Webster, Texas, were given the name Julie Hudson.

Through social media accounts, they identified the Philadelphia woman as their suspect, comparing her photos to a surveillance image.

Police then put out a warrant for her arrest.

But Hudson said she has never been to Texas.

When she was denied a job recently because of an outstanding warrant, she went to Philadelphia police to inquire.

That's when she was taken into custody.

"We received information that Texas wanted this person. There was a valid warrant in Texas for this person. But we don't get the details of the warrant," said Krasner.

Hudson's family began making calls, and after about a week behind bars, she was finally released.

"I don't know what any potential civil lawsuit might reveal. I would expect to see a civil lawsuit in Texas," said Krasner.

Her family said she was in need of medication which she did not receive behind bars.

During Thursday's press availability, Krasner called for increased information flow among law enforcement agencies in different states.

The district attorney's office in Harris County Texas said in a statement Thursday: "Tuesday, Webster Police notified the court of the error. We dismissed the case within five minutes and immediately contacted Philadelphia Police to release our hold on Ms. Hudson."

Philadelphia police said they were made aware of the warrant being dismissed at 5 p.m. on Wednesday after a media inquiry.

Philadelphia police have opened an investigation into the communications between agencies in Texas and Philadelphia.