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Jailed in error

Feds apparently dropped ball after convicted bank robber served 10 years


News Staff Writer

A notification error on the part of federal authorities was apparently responsible for the June 18 arrest of Chad Floyd Jeter, an Atmore man who served 10 years in prison after his 2009 conviction for the robbery of Atmore’s First National Bank & Trust.
Escambia County Detention Center records show Jeter, whose arrest was reported in the “Felony arrests” section of the July 3, 2024, edition of Atmore News, was recently jailed on a first-degree robbery charge that had long been mitigated by Jeter’s lengthy time behind bars.
The 45-year-old Atmore man was convicted in federal court in Mobile and sent to the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta to serve his sentence. He was released in 2019 and spent the next five years on supervised release.
Apparently, though, the U.S. Attorney’s Office failed to file the proper paperwork to let other agencies know the convicted bank robber had served his time.
On June 21, Circuit Judge Jeff White granted Jeter a Motion to Nol Prosse, stating that “the defendant may be released from jail on this charge,” and he was freed from the county jail.
Judy and David Messic, Jeter’s mother and stepfather, said they received numerous calls after the arrest was reported from people who thought he had been arrested on a new robbery charge.
“The people in Mobile didn’t do the paperwork they were supposed to,” David Messic said. “We found out they were holding him in the county jail, and we went and talked to the sheriff’s investigators. They called and confirmed that he had served his time, and he was let out. He stayed in jail three days before we finally got him out.”
The Messics said Jeter suffers from and takes medications for paranoid-schizophrenia. They said he is able to function normally as long as he is taking the medications but worry that the misinformation that led to his recent arrest could trigger an episode.
“We don’t want this to throw him off,” David Messic said of his stepson, who lost the travel trailer in which he was living to a June fire. “We worry that if it gets bad enough, and he goes haywire, he might hurt himself or somebody else.”
According to WebMD, people with such a condition suffer from delusions and are “unreasonably suspicious of others,” which makes it hard for them to “hold a job, run errands, have friendships and even go to the doctor.” The illness is a lifelong malady, but medications and other therapies help stop the symptoms or at least make them easier to live with.
“He’ll do anything for anybody when he’s taking his medicine,” said Judy Messic, to which David replied that, “if he (Jeter) is in his yard, and somebody walks up and tells him they need a ride to Perdido, he’ll jump in his car and take them.”
Efforts to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Mobile were unsuccessful by Tuesday’s press deadline.