Man tries to rebuild after serving time for brother's crime

Man tries to rebuild his life after serving time for brother's crime

Posted:
Shawn Day and his fiance, Brenda Carroll, are trying to clear his name. They watched the surveillance video of the crime he was accused of committing. Shawn Day and his fiance, Brenda Carroll, are trying to clear his name. They watched the surveillance video of the crime he was accused of committing.
Shawn Day said the man in the surveillance video is his brother, William Day. Shawn Day said the man in the surveillance video is his brother, William Day.
"I just want my name cleared and it to be over with, that way I can get started with my life," said Shawn Day. "I just want my name cleared and it to be over with, that way I can get started with my life," said Shawn Day.
Shawn Day spent 20 days in the Anderson County Jail because of his brother's crime. Shawn Day spent 20 days in the Anderson County Jail because of his brother's crime.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

CLINTON (WATE) - This week's 6 On Your Side is a story about deceit between family members.

A man used the identity of his younger brother to avoid going to jail. His younger brother was the one who ended up behind bars.   

The crime was minor, but the fraud has taken a toll on a couple trying to get their lives together.

Shawn Day said he should never have been incarcerated in the Anderson County Jail. But that's exactly what happened for 20 days in September of 2011.

Two months ago, Day and his fiance, Brenda Carroll, came to WATE studios to help clear his name of a crime Shawn claims he had nothing to do with.  

Beginning in the mid-1990s, Day accumulated a number of driving arrests and has no driver's license to this day.

While he does not have a spotless record, Day's criminal history from Knox County shows a clean slate for the last seven years.

If you compare the mug shots of Shawn and his brother, the two look alike. Their social security numbers are also only one number apart.

Shawn's problem with police started when he came from his home in Middle Tennessee to visit his parents at a trailer park in Sept. 2011. Someone had called the cops.

Shawn was picked up on an outstanding warrant. The charge was theft under $500 for shoplifting from a Kmart in Clinton on Nov. 11, 2010.

"I kept telling them, no, I didn't have no warrant on me. They said, 'Yes, there is'. They took me to jail," he said.

Unable to post bond, Day went to jail and stayed there until his court date.

There he proclaimed his innocence. He said no one believed his story.

"It was my brother and he used my name," Day told 6 On Your Side.

While Shawn seemed genuinely sincere, we needed verification. We went to the Clinton Police Department, explained the story to the chief and he requested a DVD from Kmart.

In the store's surveillance video, a woman and man leave Kmart's front door. He stops, when off to the right a security officer runs after the woman.     

She is Charlotte Day, Shawn and William's sister-in-law. She was also arrested for shoplifting.

A police investigator spoke with her a few weeks ago. She confirmed William was with her at Kmart.

Police told 6 On Your Side the video from inside Kmart is inconclusive.

"Because they can't see the face more. I can understand that," Day said.

6 On Your Side popped in a DVD from the police cruiser, provided by the chief. It clearly shows William Day leaving the store.

"That's Charlotte behind him and that's Will, my brother, sitting right there," Shawn said, watching the DVD.

6 On Your Side was unable to track down William and Charlotte for an interview.

But we found Harvey Day, Shawn and William's father. He confirmed what Clinton police had learned. He said he knew that Shawn had gone to jail for an offense that William had committed.

He said William has used Shawn's identity other times as well.

Even with video proof, Clinton police said they can't arrest William Day because the statute of limitations has run out.

Shawn said William fooled police because there were warrants for his arrest.

"He walked free and I was the one who paid for it. I went to jail," said Shawn.

For the last year, Day has reported to a probation officer in Clinton once a week and he still owes $2,500 in fees and court costs.

Carroll said their lives have been turned upside down.

"By losing everything we had, a house, by losing everything we were working for," she said.

Unable to read or write, Shawn pled guilty without knowing what he had signed in court last year.

With indisputable video evidence of his innocence, he simply wants his life back.

"I just want my name cleared and it to be over with, that way I can get started with my life," he said.

Several attorneys spoke about the unusual circumstances of this case. They told 6 On Your Side that Shawn's best hope to clear his name will have to come from a judge.

Shawn Day and his fiance live in Lafayette, Tennessee which is northeast of Nashville. He has been holding down odd jobs while he and Brenda try to rebuild their lives.


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.