Judge Refuses Fugitive's Surrender

Judge Refuses Fugitive's Surrender

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A woman labeled northern Utah's Most Wanted tried to surrender to a federal judge but he wouldn't let her.

Instead, he told her to leave and suspended her warrant for an hour so federal marshals would not arrest her as she left the courthouse.

Judy Talbot, named the Most Wanted suspect last week, appeared in federal court Monday and Wednesday to answer the warrant for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Talbot's attorney, Michael Boyle, said he met her at the federal court in Salt Lake City Monday.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson told her that she could not turn herself in because he didn't sign the original warrant and the U.S. attorney wasn't present, Boyle told the Standard-Examiner in Ogden. The appearance was then set up for Wednesday afternoon before the signing magistrate, Brooke Wells.

In the meantime, Talbot still ran the risk of being arrested based on the active warrant.

"It was actually quite comical," Boyle said. "Benson originally gave us 15 minutes to get out of there, but I told him we couldn't get her out in 15 minutes because I figured the marshals would grab her as soon as she left.

"Then Benson looked at the marshals and said, 'You guys wouldn't do that, would you?' Then he said he'd suspend the warrant for an hour to give us time to leave," Boyle.

After Wednesday's appearance, Talbot's warrant was recalled, and she will have a detention hearing July 2.

Boyle said that if Talbot had turned herself in to the marshals, she would have been detained until a detainment hearing. By going to a judge, she had a better possibility of remaining free until such a hearing.

"The judge figured that if she's going to turn herself in on her own accord, there's no need to detain her," Boyle said.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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