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Arkansas woman posing as deputy helps boyfriend escape jail

Maxine Feldstein

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— The sheriff’s office has arrested a Fayetteville woman who helped her boyfriend escape from the county jail last month by posing as a deputy from California.

Maxine Feldstein, 30, was arrested Friday, August 17, in connection with forgery, accomplice to third-degree escape and criminal impersonation.

Feldstein’s boyfriend, Andrew Lowe, was at the Washington County Detention Center on July 27 with a hold for criminal impersonation out of Ventura, Calif., according to a probable cause affidavit.

Feldstein, who had bonded out earlier that day, called Washington County jail staff and identified herself as deputy “L. Kershaw” with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. She also provided a forged VCSO document releasing the agency’s hold on Lowe.

Two day’s later, jail staff received a call from a VCSO deputy who was en-route to the sheriff’s office to pick up Lowe, which alerted them to the forgery and accidental release.

After reviewing jail video of a visit between Lowe and Feldstein, Washington County deputies discovered Lowe told Feldstein to pose as a VCSO deputy, according to the affidavit.

Lowe said Feldstein should tell Washington County that VCSO was “having issues with overcrowding and all low-priority extraditions have been suspended,” according to the affidavit.

Washington County later confirmed the document Feldstein emailed was fake, and that VCSO had no deputy named “L. Kershaw,” according to the affidavit.

Lowe was also arrested Friday and faces a felony charge of second-degree escape.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said the agency is “still evaluating to determine the best corrective action needed to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

“There is a procedure to ensure requests are legitimate, and that hasn’t changed,” she said.

Feldstein and Lowe were being held Tuesday (Aug. 21) at the Washington County Detention Center on bonds of $16,500 and $15,000, respectively.

The pair has hearings set for Sept. 5 in Washington County Circuit Court.