Kim Kardashian West is raising awareness for Matthew Charles, a Nashville man who was released from jail but might go back behind bars because of a technicality. On Twitter Monday, she called his story "so sad."
This man is sentenced to 35 yrs for selling drugs. He serves over 21 yrs, is released, finds a job, new relationship, starts a new life, & now is being sent back for another 10 yrs because the original release was an error. This man has completely rehabilitated himself. So sad https://t.co/msLsMSHGxh— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) May 28, 2018
"This man is sentenced to 35 yrs for selling drugs," Kardashian tweeted, alongside a link to a WPLN report on Charles. "He serves over 21 yrs, is released, finds a job, new relationship, starts a new life, & now is being sent back for another 10 yrs because the original release was an error. This man has completely rehabilitated himself. So sad."
WPLN first shared Charles' story back in December. In 1996, he was convicted of seven charges linked to the distribution of 216 grams of crack cocaine. He also faced weapons charges because he obtained two guns using a fake name. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
"I got sentenced 35 years," Charles told WPLN in December. "I was heartbroken, didn't understand it. Ten was too short, I thought I'd get 20 years. I deserved to be in prison, I just didn't expect it to be so long."
While awaiting trial, a fellow inmate left him a Bible and he began reading it daily. He said he experienced a spiritual awakening and began to pray. Over the next two decades in prison, he rehabilitated himself, teaching fellow inmates in GED classes and even becoming a law clerk.
In 2010, President Barack Obama reduced minimum sentences for offenses like the one Charles was convicted of. A federal judge examined Charles' case, and reduced the jail sentence by nine years. In 2016, he was paroled to a halfway house and was allowed to restart his life. Later, he met Naomi Sharp, and they started a life together in Nashville. He even reconnected with a daughter he never knew he had on Facebook.
But then the government appealed his release and the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed, saying Charles should serve the rest of his 35-year sentence. During a March hearing, the judge praised his "exemplary rehabilitation," but said her "hands were tied." The judge gave Charles 45 days before he had to head back behind bars.
On May 25, WPLN checked in on Charles again, just before he heads back to prison. The people who helped him get his new life in order and the friends he made held a gathering in late April.0comments
"It was like a 180 from what I had thought would happen. I'm just disappointed, again," Charles told WPLN in March. "But I believe that God is still in charge of the situation. He hasn't revealed to me what he's doing yet... but my faith remains the same."