SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It was a chaotic release from custody for high-profile defendant Sherri Papini, who is accused of faking her own kidnapping.
Papini's release from Sacramento jail turned into an unusual, rolling Q&A session by reporters seeking an explanation from the mother and wife who made nationwide headlines when she went missing for three weeks in 2016.
With unmistakable blonde bangs hanging under her hoodie, Papini was immediately surrounded by family who escorted her to a vehicle a block away from the jail doors. The sprint went across downtown Sacramento streets with family shielding her face as reporters tried to get some type of response from her.
Not answering anyone, at one point, Papini could be heard sobbing as a family member got her inside an awaiting vehicle.
The wild scene followed a federal judge ruling Papini be released on $120,000 bail. Prosecutors wanted her to stay detained, arguing she was a flight risk and a risk to the community. Her defense attorney argued she has no criminal history, no indication of violence, and no substance-related problems.
Attorney Mark Reichel says federal law does favor the release of defendants ahead of trials in most cases.
"This is a big break for the defense today," Reichel said Tuesday. "This would have been a really difficult case to defend, to get ready for if she was in custody, so round one to the defense in this very high-profile case."
The FBI arrested Papini last week alleging she lied to investigators about her three-week disappearance in 2016.
She was found on the side of the road in shackles claiming two Hispanic women had kidnapped her. Federal prosecutors say she was with an ex-boyfriend the whole time in Southern California.
Now, there's another wild twist to an already bizarre case as the court ruling she can be released turned crazy.
Papini is due back in court again on March 25.
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