MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Nearly three months after a Mecklenburg County District Court Judge awarded temporary custody of a toddler to his father, the child failed a drug test.
The child’s mother spent 11 days in the county jail for refusing to follow a judge’s order to hand her son over to his father for a scheduled visitation.
Jacque Kent says she refused to let her son visit his father because she suspected her child’s father, Joshua Graham, was still using drugs and abusing alcohol.
In April, Judge Sean Smith sentenced Kent to 60 days in the county jail, finding her in criminal contempt of the visitation order after Graham’s attorney, Steve DeCillis filed multiple contempt motions against Kent.
Kent served two days before her family could come up with the $50,000 bond Smith imposed at the April hearing.
Once freed, Kent hired a private investigator to track Graham and to figure out whether Graham was abusing alcohol and drugs and whether he was putting their son at risk. It took the investigator a matter of days before video recorded Graham in a grocery store parking lot using drugs.
Despite the private investigator’s surveillance video, a failed drug test, allegations of domestic violence, and violations of a protective order, the judge handed the couple’s son over to Graham in a temporary custody agreement.
Now, three months later, the toddler tested positive for drugs and Kent could still face jail time over the contempt charges.
After Queen City News Chief Investigator Jody Barr contacted Judge Smith detailing what we were preparing to report in our ‘Order of Protection’ investigation, the judge removed himself from the case and neither Joshua Graham nor his attorney responded to requests for interviews.