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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Handcuffed woman escapes from courtroom


A court date went from bad to worse for a 22-year-old woman charged with misdemeanor theft.

She choose to run from a Jefferson County courtroom after bailiffs handcuffed her.

The defendant ran from the law, but the law won.

This might not be a perspective you'd normally see at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

"A woman came out of the courtroom running by, I didn't know she was handcuffed," Gregory DeRutte, a witness said. 

"She had a smile on her face and bailiff came out and started chasing after her, she made it down the stairs," Jessie DeRutte, another witness says. 

Tayonia Lennette, a 22-year-old woman, was scheduled to be in court Thursday morning for a misdemeanor theft charge.

She didn't know she had an outstanding warrant for a previous assault charge, so the bailiff put her in handcuffs.

Minutes later she bolted.

"She was quick, she got downstairs in lickity split," DeRutte says. 

Witnesses say there was a security guard sitting here who didn't notice she was wearing handcuffs, she managed to get passed him and out the back doors.

"The security that's in place for the building is a perimeter security and it's actually the design is to prohibit someone from bringing weapons inside," Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods said.

It didn't stop there, she ran to the Port of Beaumont, and told them she was being chased.

Lennette then ran through the office out a back door and hid inside a white expedition.

About fifteen minutes later, she was back in court with an additional contempt of court charge.

"Based upon what the court stated, we didn't think it was good and sufficient cause to raise the bond," Terrance Holmes Lennette's lawyer said. 

Lennette now faces a $100,000 bond, six months in jail for contempt of court and a $500 fine. 

The suspect is due back in court in August.

The sheriff said it would be a violation of fire codes to have all exits locked in the building.

His office is investigating why the woman was able to get out. 


KFDM News has learned a woman who escaped from Judge Langston Adam's courtroom is back in custody after running from the courtroom and racing through the Port of Beaumont administration building before she was caught hiding in a vehicle. 

Judge Adams says 22-year-old Tayonia Lennette was in court Thursday morning for a theft charge.

She was handcuffed and arrested for an outstanding warrant. Witnesses say minutes later she bolted from the courtroom.

There was a short pursuit between the woman, court bailiffs and deputies.

Deputies say she was found minutes later at the Port of Beaumont.


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