It played out like something out of a movie. And it would have worked… if she hadn’t been caught.
On Monday, 30-year-old Maxine Feldstein pleaded guilty to posing as a California sheriff’s deputy in order to spring her boyfriend from jail in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Her plea was made in Washington County Circuit Court to forgery, third-degree escape and second-degree criminal impersonation.
She was sentenced by Judge Mark to 30 years in the state Department of Correction, but he suspended half of the sentence.
Here’s what happened.
In July of 2018, Feldstein presented false paperwork to the Washington County Detention Center. It fooled those watching the jail into releasing her boyfriend, Nicholas Lowe.
About a month later, the duo was arrested in Fayetteville.
Her boyfriend pleaded guilty in February to third-degree escape. He was only given a one-year prison sentence and was credited for 167 days served.
After he’s released by from Arkansas Department of Correction, he needs to abide by a five-year suspended sentence.
Prosecutors say he told Feldstein to pose as a deputy from the Venture County Sheriff’s Office in Ventura, California. He believed it trick Washington County jail staff into releasing him, according to court documents. It obviously worked.
Lowe gave Feldstein specific instructions. He instructed her to tell Washington County that VCSO was “having issues with overcrowding and all low-priority extraditions have been suspended,” according to the affidavit.
Feldstein herself had bonded out of jail earlier that day. She called the jail and identified herself as deputy “L. Kershaw” with VCSO. Then she went so far as to provide a forged VCSO document releasing the agency’s hold on Lowe.
It wasn’t until two days later that jail staff learned of the fake and the accidental release. That was when a VCSO deputy called to say he was on his way to pick up Lowe.
Thanks to jail video, the sheriff’s office discovered that Lowe told Feldstein to pose as a VCSO deputy while she visited him, according to the affidavit.
Later, Washington County confirmed the VCSO document Feldstein used was fake. They also revealed that VCSO didn’t have a deputy named “L. Kershaw,” according to the affidavit.