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Brotherly Love Means Wrong One in Jail

February 9, 1985

MORRISON, Ill. (AP) _ A man who served 25 days of his brother’s 60-day jail term for contempt of court now faces charges of his own after authorities discovered the mix-up.

Whiteside County Sheriff L.L. Kimmel said Friday he suspected that Carl Ferrel intentionally stood in for his brother, Donald, who authorities haven’t been able to locate. To further confuse matters, Carl Ferrel is known to his friends as Don and Donald Ferrel is called Donnie, he said.

″They were trying to make a joke out of the justice system,″ said Deputy Glenn Frank. ″Needless to say, we decided to show these boys it’s not that easy ...″

But Randy Schweickhardt, a half-brother of the Ferrels, said, ″That’s not the way it is at all.″

When police arrived at the Schweickhardts’ home in November looking for Donald Ferrel, who had been sentenced to 60 days in jail in a child-support case, they ended up with Carl, who sometimes stayed there, he said.

Carl Ferrel didn’t know why anyone wanted him in jail, so he called Whiteside County to ask, but ″they said they wouldn’t tell him anything over the phone,″ Schweickhardt said.

On Jan. 10, Carl Ferrel went to Whiteside County and ended up in jail.

″Our mother was sick and Carl said he just wanted to get in and get the sentence over with,″ he said. ″He assumed it was something from years ago because he’s been a straight arrow for quite a few years.″

Schweickhardt said he visited his half-brother in jail and asked if he had learned why he had been locked up.″He said, ’I haven’t found nothing out. I really don’t care. The only thing I’m concerned with is getting it over with and getting out,‴ he said.

When Carl returned to jail Tuesday from a brief leave granted so he could visit his sick mother, he was charged with obstructing justice and held on $20,000 bail, Kimmel said.Authorities learned of the stand-in last week when they got an anonymous tip that they had the wrong Ferrel, he said.

″I have no idea why anyone would go to jail for someone else,″ Kimmel said. ″Brotherly love is a strong emotion, but I’ll be darned if I’d go to jail for my brother.″

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