Tamika Pledger released after 6 nights in jail for contempt - KCTV5 News

Tamika Pledger released after 6 nights in jail for contempt

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Tamika Pledger has been released after spending six nights in the Wyandotte County Jail as punishment for her birthday news conference.

On May 19, a tearful Pledger held a news conference to express her sorrow for her actions that led to the death of 17-year-old Tierra Smith and and three others suffering injuries after Pledger's out-of-control car hit them. Pledger said she shouldn't face involuntary manslaughter charges are warranted.

"To the Smith family, I am sorry for your loss. If I could do it all over again, I would," a tearful Pledger declared in her first at-length comments on the crash.

She said two of the injured are her family members, but did not say how.

"I am very, very sorry. This was not supposed to be a thing," Pledger said. "It was a simple accident. It was an accident. I did not know they were there."

A Wyandotte County judge decided Monday afternoon that Pledger's remarks through the media directly to the Smith family and the injured violated a court order. In February, a judge had barred her from having any contact with witnesses, victims or their family members.

A judge had reiterated that order to Pledger in recent months, but clarified she could have contact with her own daughter and another immediate family members. Pledger had told KCTV5 recently that she had inadvertent contact with one person involved in the case when she used the drive-thru at a Taco Bell, but she repeatedly maintained that she didn't violate the order and actually tried to say the order wasn't still in effect because of a judge change.

A judge didn't find that the Taco Bell contact violated the court's order. Instead, Pledger was ordered on Monday to spend the next seven days in jail after the judge found the news conference was talking through the media to the victims and their families. He made clear that he wanted to send a message to Pledger.

After the hearing concluded about 4 p.m. Monday, Pledger was taken into custody and taken immediately to jail where a new mugshot was taken of her. She was released on Sunday. Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence her to 30 days in jail.

Pledger, a community activist, was running for a seat on the Unified Government Commission when she crashed into a group of teens on Jan. 30.

Pledger admits that she hit the teens, but said in a news conference on her birthday this week that it was a tragic and simple accident. She said she doesn't deserve to face criminal charges, and for the first time publicly expressed remorse for the crash.

Police say she was driving at least 54 mph, but she denied that Tuesday. A 17-year-old girl died of her injuries while two teen girls and a teen boy suffered serious injuries.

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