• 73°

Man jailed for not supporting someone else’s child

ADEL, Ga. (AP) ó A Georgia man spent more than a year behind bars for failing to pay child support for a child that wasn’t his, but he was released after DNA tests showed he wasn’t the father.

Frank Hatley, 50, had been jailed since June 2008 for not making payments, but two separate DNA tests in the last nine years showed he was not the father of the boy, who is now 21.

Southern Center for Human Rights attorney Sarah Geraghty won Hatley’s release at a hearing Wednesday in Superior Court. A court order has also relieved him of his financial obligation to the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

“State child support officials have shown extraordinarily poor judgment in Mr. Hatley’s case,” Geraghty said.

Although Hatley was freed from making future payments after a 2001 hearing, Superior Court Judge Dan Perkins had ordered him to continue making $16,000 in back payments. He paid $6,000 of that before being laid off from his job.

Perkins ordered Hatley’s immediate release Wednesday after determining that he was indigent. Although he was released, Hatley’s paternity case is still unresolved. No future hearings are scheduled.

“Out of it all, I just feel like justice should be served for me in this case,” Hatley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shortly after his release. “I shouldn’t have to keep being punished for a child that is not mine.”

Hatley had a relationship with Essie Lee Morrison, who had a baby in 1987 and told Hatley the child was his, according to court records. The couple never married and split up shortly afterward.

In 1989, Morrison applied for public assistance through the state Department of Human Resources. Hatley agreed to reimburse the state because he believed the boy was his.

Documents show Hatley paid at least $9,500.

But in 2000, DNA samples showed the two were not related, according to court records. A test earlier this month confirmed that.

Comments

Comments closed.

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT

Nation/World

D-Day survivor, WWII torch bearer Ray Lambert dies at 100

Nation/World

Prince Philip was always defined by role as husband of British queen

BREAKING NEWS

One dead, several injured after head-on collision in China Grove

Crime

Man, woman charged for selling drugs to undercover deputies

Crime

Blotter: Rowan County man charged with indecent liberties with children

Local

Spencer town board gets look at Park Plaza progress

Business

‘Applicant market’: Unemployment rate improving as businesses hire more workers

Local

National, local business leaders praise Salisbury’s initiative to support Black-owned operations

Nation/World

Tillis has prostate cancer surgery

Coronavirus

Adverse reactions surface from Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Nation/World

Expert: Lack of oxygen killed George Floyd, not drugs

Local

Quotes of the week

Nation/World

Biden seeks crackdown on homemade firearms

Nation/World

Victim of former NFL player’s rampage wrote of faith, life’s fragility

News

Wrongly imprisoned man gets $750,000

High School

West falls to Statesville, finishes second in NPC

Education

Middle, high school students head back to classes full time