Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Woman arrested for delinquent video rental

Update February 21, 2014: Due to extensive media coverage of the case, the owner of Dalton video has opted to drop the charges against Kayla Michelle Finley.

Kayla Michelle Finley

Kayla Michelle Finley

A South Carolina woman, who went to her local police station to report a crime, found herself under arrest on an outstanding warrant for failure to return the video of the film Monster in Law nine years ago.

Though Roger Ebert and Rotten Tomatoes each gave the movie one star when it was re-released on DVD in 2005, Kayla Michelle Finley, now 27, was only 18 at the time, and quite possibly loved it so much that she couldn’t bear to part with it. Of course it’s also possible that she returned the movie and that it got lost somewhere between the drop box and the check in.

According to police records, Finley didn’t return the tape to Dalton Video within 72 hours, and was allegedly sent several written requests to return it and pay the late fees, but never responded. The store’s owner eventually went to a magistrate who in 2005 issued an arrest warrant for Finley. According to Pickens County Police Chief Deputy Hashe, Finley was then sent several registered letters demanding that she turn herself in, but never responded.

There the case sat for nine years. Dalton Video went out of business, but the warrant remained on record and active.

Last Thursday when Finley went to the police station on a separate matter, an officer looked her up on the computer and discovered the warrant. She was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of failure to return a rented video cassette. She spent the night in jail and bonded out the next day on a $2000 personal recognizance bond.

Finley denied ever receiving any of the communications regarding the overdue video or the warrant. It is not known how much Finley allegedly owes in late fees, but she has reportedly decided to fight the charges.

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