So it's your wedding night. Your new hubby is driving you from the reception to your hotel. You get stopped. He gets charged with DWI, and you get charged with public intoxication. You're wearing your wedding dress in a courtroom and a photog snaps your picture. Suddenly you're the face of the "March Madness" campaign against drunk-drivers by Harris County deputies. How do you get your name out of the media?
If you're Jade McClane, file a complaint with the Harris County Precinct 8 Constable's office saying you feel exploited by police for allowing your photo to be taken. Then, just as people are forgetting about you, file another complaint with the Harris County Sheriff's Department alleging poor jail conditions and treatment, which is what she did last week. It almost makes you think she and her new husband, Billy Puckett, are courting the publicity.
Not so, says her lawyer, Joseph Gutheinz. In fact, he tells Hair Balls, last week his office was receiving calls from Dr. Phil and Inside Edition, but McClane turned down interviews about the incident. "She didn't go on national TV," says Gutheinz. "She was offered money to go on Inside Edition, and she turned it down...This is a private woman."
Gutheinz says he filed the complaint because McClane's rights were violated. "At Gitmo, at least they have some rights," he says. "In the Harris County Jail, they don't."
The complaint about conditions has drawn derision online, with lots of comments such as, "Hello, it's not a 5 star hotel, princess." But actually the complaint is pretty gross. One part reads: "The floor was filthy with used tampons scattered around the floor, and the toilet facilities were so disgusting that a woman actually defecated in the trash. Neither was cleaned up while my client was there."
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Over the phone, Gutheinz said, "Any male guard could have opened the door and seen her doing it. This is third-world bad."
The complaint also states that McClane was not offered a change of clothes and got black and blue marks from her tight wedding dress; that male guards were looking into the cell to see McClane in her dress; and that the cell was overcrowded.
They filed the complaint, Gutheinz says, to tell the Sheriff's Department that this is unacceptable. "It takes a lady in a wedding dress to expose how bad that jail is...This is just evidence of how bad it is."
He says an apology would help the couple move on. "It would be awfully nice. I don't really see it, but it would be awfully nice."