61 Year Old Mother Dies in Jail, Held Since July on $300 Bond, Family Never Told

$30 was likely all it would have taken for Janice Dotson-Stephens to have gotten out of jail, but the mentally ill 61-year-old mother’s family was never told where she was.

Court records confirm that she died in jail, held by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, and had been imprisoned on a $300 bond since July.

Dotson-Stephens was arrested in July for trespassing. County clerk records show the misdemeanor charge was her first arrest in the County. Sheriff officials said Friday that Dotson-Stephens appeared to have died of natural causes and had been held at the infirmary at the detention center.

Officials have not said why Dotson-Stephens stayed in the jail so long, since a $30 payment would have likely been all it took for her to be released. Leticia Dotson, Dotson-Stephens’ daughter-in-law, said she wishes family members had been contacted. Her family didn’t know their loved one was in jail and thought she was being treated at the state hospital. The Bexar County public information officer said that Janice Dotson-Stephens did not have a next of kin listed.



Photo: “Old Austin County Jail, Bellville, Texas 0130101344BW” by is licensed under CC BY 2.0