A 34-year-old warrant reportedly resulted in the arrest of an elderly Colorado man as he prepared for Thanksgiving with his family.
According to KMGH, the outstanding warrant was issued out of Indiana for Theodore McGowan, 69. Reportedly arrested in front of his family on Tuesday, McGowan is currently awaiting extradition to Indiana from Denver. Per a writ of habeas corpus filed by attorney Jason Flores-Williams, McGowan was told decades earlier that he completed his 18-month sentence for a car theft and could move out of a halfway house, only to result in his arrest years later.
“He was doing his time at a halfway house in which he would go to a job every day away from the halfway house, and somebody told him at the halfway house that he had done his time,” the attorney said. “He had paid his debt to society and so that he could leave, so this is technical.”
McGowan told the news station Friday that he’s gone through multiple background checks with no issue, including a Secret Service background check for when he drove buses for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Flores-Williams alleged that someone processing documents in Indiana issued the arrest warrant despite McGowan being told he served his time and living a crime-free life ever since. KMGH reported that McGowan previously worked as a bus driver for Denver public transit and public schools, had four children, and got engaged following his wife’s death.
The attorney claimed deputies forced McGowan to sign an extradition waiver before he could consult an attorney. Moreover, the 69-year-old has reportedly been denied his dental plate, making it difficult for him to eat.
“It’s completely inhumane, and at the end of the day what it really is, is a miscarriage of justice,” Flores-Williams said.
“We as a society have no interest in seeing this man, who’s been an asset to his community, behind bars right now.”
Flores-Williams told he news station that his writ of habeas corpus filed Friday in Colorado was denied because Denver doesn’t have the case. Prosecutors in Colorado and Indiana said they’re unsure how to handle the case, according to the attorney.
“What I want [people] to know is not really happening to me. I would like for them to know if you turn your life around and do all the right things, that should be recognized,” the retired bus driver commented. “Not if you do the right thing, they reach way back in your past, constantly coming up with your past and using that to penalize you. I’m not no threat to the community. I’m not no threat to nobody.”
[Featured Image: Theodore McGowan/KMGH video screengrab]