A woman who police say escaped from a Michigan prison 37 years ago and was living in San Diego again told a judge she is not a fugitive.
On Friday, at a hearing in San Diego Superior Court, the 60-year-old woman who goes by the name of Jamie Lewis was arraigned on a fugitive complaint, officials said. The woman maintains she is not Michigan prison escapee Judy Lynn Hayman.
“She pleaded not guilty and again denied that she is the person who is wanted in Michigan,” said Richard Madruga, deputy San Diego County district attorney. “She is not agreeing to go back. She’s not waiving extradition and she’s going to fight it.”
A judge set a hearing to determine the woman’s true identity for Feb. 18, Madruga said. Prosecutors will have to prove she is the woman who escaped from the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti on April 14, 1977.
The judge also set a 30-day review hearing for March 10, Madruga said.
In the meantime, the woman is being held without bail in the San Diego County Jail, he said.
Lewis was arrested Monday after San Diego police went to an apartment to question a woman matching Hayman’s description. The woman who answered the door identified herself as Jamie Lewis and produced government documents with the name, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer said.
Officers remained suspicious because of inconsistencies in her story and her resemblance to an old mugshot they were holding. They took her to a police station, where she eventually acknowledged being Hayman, police said.
According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Hayman served eight months of an 18-to-24-month sentence for trying to steal clothes from a Detroit-area store.
If the woman is Hayman, she could face a criminal charge for the escape. The state Parole Board will determine how long she will be imprisoned.
The case is similar to that of Marie Walsh, who escaped from a Michigan prison in 1976. Walsh had served 14 months of a 10-year prison sentence for a heroin deal when she fled. She was found living in San Diego in 2008. Walsh spent 13 more months in prison then returned to San Diego, where she resumed her life with her husband of more than 20 years.