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Truth or Lie? It doesn’t matter. It’s Too Easy to Get A Warrant in Roanoke

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Kathy Lee McFarlin

Kathy Lee McFarlin

Truth or Lie?  It doesn’t matter.  It’s Easy to Get A Warrant in Roanoke


Just imagine having your telephone ring, and a voice on the other end saying, “Mamm, this is Roanoke Police Department and we have a warrant for your arrest, and we need you to come down to the Police Station.  You’ll need to bring somebody with you to sign your bond.”  


You are momentarily seized by shock…. You know for a fact that you haven’t done anything.  You haven’t been involved in any criminal activity of any kind.   But, for some unknown reason, a warrant has been issued for your arrest.  You ask yourself, “What in the world is happening, now!?…  It’s something, all the time!” 

 This is what happened to Kathy Lee McFarlin, on Last Wednesday, July 23, when

she had to report to Roanoke Police Department to be booked for charges of Criminal Mischief.   Her brother, Minister Tom Staples, Jr., was there with her, to sign her bond.  Ms. McFarlin was released under a $500.00 bond, and given a court date.


But, knowing that she hadn’t been involved in any criminal activity of this nature, she refused to dismiss the many questions that were tumbling through her head about this mysterious warrant.  McFarlin started asking questions.    Her first stop was Roanoke City Hall, where she spoke with Penny Holloway, the City’s Magistrate. 


After raising a lot of questions, McFarlin learned that last Wednesday, July 23, a 16-year-old Summer Patrice Johnson walked into to Roanoke City Hall accompanied by a friend, and swore out a warrant against Kathy Lee McFarlin, claiming that McFarlin had torn up all of her clothes. 


Without investigating the matter further, or making any inquiries as to the validity of the claims Ms. Johnson was making, Penny Holloway, the City Magistrate issued the warrant and McFarlin was arrested.


Naturally, McFarlin was angered by this malicious warrant, because, in addition to having to put up a bond, there is now a case pending, that will cost her time, travel, money, attorney’s fees, and court costs to defend herself —  FOR NOTHING! 


McFarlin explains, “Approximately a week before the warrant was requested, Ms. Johnson (who is a minor) had been dropped off by her boyfriend, Clarence McCurty, at the home of McFarlin’s mother, Dorothy Foster, who lives in Roanoke.  Abandoning Johnson, McCurty, who is Dorothy Foster’s nephew, left town, returning to New Orleans, leaving his aunt to contend with a wayward minor girl.  


Presumably with nowhere to go, Johnson had lingered there at Foster’s home for four days.          


Not wanting to put the youngster out on the street, Foster tried to let her stay around, but soon, young Ms. Johnson became sassy and belligerent.   Finally after kicking  Ayia Staples, McFarlin’s 5-year-old granddaughter in her side, causing extensive bruising and a visit to Randolph Medical Center ER Dorothy Foster finally decided she’d had enough, and told Johnson she had to leave.  Foster wanted this strange girl out of her home – right now!   So, to make this happen, Dorothy Foster began calling Roanoke Police Department requesting their assistance in getting the girl out of her house.  


Police and a detective went to the premises and remained on the premises and watched  Johnson collect all of her things, and leave the Foster home.  According to McFarlin, among her possessions, were stolen clothing, from Roanoke’s Wal Mart Store.  


As Johnson exited the premises, she bellowed “I’m gonna get that bitch! I’m gonna get that bitch! I’m gonna get that bitch!” referring to McFarlin.


Although no one knows for a fact, where Johnson went after being made to leave the Foster premises, Dorothy Foster began receiving numerous harassing telephone calls from Johnson.  Foster’s caller id showed the phone number belonging to Ashley Henderson.


That very same day the warrants were issued, investigators from Roanoke’s Police Department had been investigating to Foster’s home, investigating her compliant about the phone calls.


McFarlin stated, “How could the City of Roanoke issue a warrant on me, when they knew my mother has filed several complaints against Johnson, had to force her out of my mother’s house, and answer other complaints against her for harassing phone calls?   I just don’t understand!”


McFarlin’s arrest raises concerns in regard to the relative ease with which anybody can walk into City Hall, and get a warrant issued against another individual … without having these claims investigated, or evidence examined.  Who is to say, that everybody who walks in city hall and asks for a warrant isn’t acting out of malice, or lying?


The People’s Voice spoke to Ms. Penny Holloway, Roanoke City Magistrate last week, to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the warrant against McFarland.   Holloway stated that anyone can come to the City Hall and get a warrant.  “They have to swear that they are telling the truth, and I make the determination whether or not to issue the warrant.”  Holloway states that she does not issue counter-warrants.   They can go to court.  And if it is found out they are not telling the truth, then they, too can be prosecuted for perjury.


McFarlin stated that The Randolph Leader reported her arrest this week, and expressed concern over the embarrassment brought on when something like this… “Now, my name is in the paper again, not once, but twice, for something I didn’t even do.  Ms. Holloway should have asked for id before she wrote a warrant for that 16-year-old girl.  And this should have been investigated…   All she had to do was look back at all the complaints my mother has filed against Johnson.”


According to Patrol Commander Mike Pheil, of the LaGrange Police Department, Johnson was arrested on July 17,  for shoplifting at LaGrange Wal Mart Super Center.


The case was handled by Patrol Officer Gibson of LaGrange Police Department. McFarlin told The People’s Voice that the clothing Johnson falsely accused her of tearing up, consisted of goods stolen from Roanoke’s Wal Mart Store.


The People’s Voice also spoke, Jonathan Caldwell, an investigator for Roanoke Police Department, with eleven years on the police force, concerning the number of warrants that are actually investigated prior to issuance.  Caldwell stated that some of them are investigated by the police department  but wasn’t sure about the ones issued at City Hall.


In most cases, a police officer does an I/O  (incident and offense report), and that’s how a warrant gets issued.   Every now and then, the magistrate will send  one down to them, but not all the time.” 


Caldwell stated that “99% of the people who swear out a warrant are telling the truth.”


Ms. McFarlin contends however, that for those of us who get caught up in lies and malicious warrants, it seems to make more sense to investigate first.


Written by peoplesvoiceweekly

August 1, 2008 at 4:31 am

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