A Fayetteville, Arkansas woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison for posing as a California sheriff's deputy so she could help her boyfriend escape from the jail where he was incarcerated.
KFSM reported that 30-year-old Maxine Feldstein pleaded guilty to charges of third-degree escape and second-degree criminal impersonation at the Washington County Circuit Court on Monday, May 13.
Judge Mark Lindsay sentenced her to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction, but suspended half her sentence, effectively condemning her to 15 years behind bars for helping her boyfriend, Nicholas Lowe, break out of jail in July 2018.
Lowe, who was the one who instructed Feldstein to pose as the deputy to help him escape, pleaded guilty to third-degree escape this past February and was sentenced to one year in prison with credit for the 167 days he had already served. He will also have to abide by a five-year suspended sentence after he's released from jail.
According to court documents filed in the case, both Lowe and Feldstein were arrested on July 14, 2018, and booked into the Washington County Detention Center. Feldstein was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver but bonded out the next day. Lowe, however, remained in jail, on hold from Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in California for false impersonation.
After her release from the jail, Lowe had told Feldstein to pose as a deputy from the VSCO in order to trick the staff at the jail into releasing him. Lowe reportedly told his girlfriend to tell Washington County that VCSO was "having issues with overcrowding and all low-priority extraditions have been suspended."
Feldstein subsequently called the jail, identified herself as deputy "L. Kershaw," and provided a forged VCSO document releasing the agency's hold on Howe, states the affidavit.
When a VSCO deputy called the jail two days later and confirmed he was on his way to pick up Lowe, the staff grew wise to Feldstein's forgery and Lowe's accidental release.
A video recorded at the jail confirmed that Lowe had hatched the plan for his girlfriend to pose as a sheriff's deputy to break him out. Washington County then confirmed that the document Feldstein used was fake and that VCSO did not have an officer by the name of "L. Kershaw" and launched a search for the pair.
Surprisingly, neither had made a run for it. Both were arrested a month later, on August 17, in Fayetteville, the same city where both of them had been jailed.