Graham, N.C. — An Alamance County woman surrendered to authorities after seeing herself on a WRAL Investigates story about wanted probation violators on Facebook.
Lesley Jo Hunt, 21, contacted WRAL News after the story ran on Feb. 13 and said she wanted to turn herself in. She had two outstanding arrest warrants for violating her probation on an old theft charge and a separate break-in case.
“I want it all to stop. I want to take care of my son. I want to do what’s best for him,” she said.
Hunt was one of many wanted, local people WRAL News found living their lives out in the open on Facebook. She never ran from authorities, she said, but she did hide when officers searched her home. She was pregnant at the time and has since been afraid to leave her son, Joseph, she said.
“(I’m) nervous and scared, and I don’t want to leave him. And I’m just scared how I’m going to feel without him,” she said.
Hunt’s bond was set at $10,000, and she has been in jail since March 5. At a court hearing last week, her bond was not lowered.
Hunt’s situation has been made worse because she failed to show up for past court dates and meetings with probation officers. She doesn’t have a violent past, but her convictions include stealing DVDs from a family member, breaking into a mobile home she said she thought was vacant and shoplifting a pregnancy test with a friend.
Hunt said she was stealing to buy drugs. She began using marijuana at age 14 and cocaine at 16, she said, but stopped when she became pregnant. She began abusing over-the-counter medication after having her son, she said, and entered a drug treatment program after seeing the WRAL Investigates story.
“(I want to be) a great mother. My mother says she is proud of me, and I haven’t been a great daughter to my mother,” Hunt said.
Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians are wanted for violating their probation. Probation officers have lowered the number of absconders in North Carolina the past several years, but they say the chase is still time-consuming.