|Ultrasound photo illustration|
Be careful who you befriend on Facebook, because you never know who is watching you.
In the case of parolee James Tindell, the government was watching his Facebook updates after he stopped seeing his probation officer.
James Tindell of Portland, Oregon, violated his parole when he fled the state, and then he mocked the judge and probation officer on Facebook. That is until he was captured.
Police said that Tindell was convicted of theft in 2010. He was offered probation instead of the six years jail that prosecutors had asked for. He took the plea deal. He was required to comply with the rules of his probation.
Rather than cooperate with his probation, Tindell stopped attending classes for drug treatment and he stopped his weekly check-in with his parole officer. Then, he fled the state while using Facebook to complain about the judge and make fun of his probation officer.
Detectives said that Tindell began posting derogatory messages on Facebook about the Multnomah County Judge Eric. J. Block, who sentenced him. He also mocked his probation officer by posting messages like "Catch me if you can" and "the one that got away."
Officials followed him on Facebook, where they discovered that he had fled to Alabama. Then came their big break when Tindell’s girlfriend posted a picture of her ultrasound on Facebook. The ultrasound had the hospital name printed on it. Police were able to narrow down their search of Tindell.
His probation officer Todd Roberts asked prosecutors for an arrest warrant, which was granted and signed by the governor of Oregon John Kitzhaber. With the new order in place, Tindell was arrested and extradited back to Portland, where he stood before the judge whom he had previously mocked.
The judge told him “you turned in some good periods of performance, and then for whatever reason you decided that you had enough. You just took off and you never looked back.”
Tindell began to cry in court and begged the judge for leniency, to which Judge Block said: "Sir, you could have stayed here and done treatment. You decided to run away. So how could you now be asking for me to give you another chance to avoid prison?”
Tindell replied with tears still in his eyes "I messed up." The judge agreed with Tindell that he messed up, and sentenced him to 2 and a half years in prison. Tindell was also ordered to reimburse the state $2,600 for the cost of transporting him back to Oregon.