Even though authorities believe they have identified an Anoka County jail inmate who refused to talk to deputies for weeks, she refused to acknowledge her name in court on Wednesday.
Initially booked into jail last month as Jane Doe for allegedly breaking into a house in Fridley, she appeared in court as Tammy Anquinette Thomas for the first time on Wednesday. During a follow-up hearing to discuss bail Wednesday afternoon, Judge Alan Pendleton asked her to concede that her name is Tammy Thomas. She then asserted her constitutional right to remain silent and again left authorities scratching their heads on why she continues to balk at acknowledging her identity.
"There are a lot of things that don't make sense in our business, and this is one of them," said Fridley Lt. Mike Monsrud, whose detectives spent hours trying to track down her identity.
Thomas, 37, landed in Minnesota after an alleged crime spree that spread across Illinois and Wisconsin. The offenses appear to be minor, so Monsrud doesn't understand why she won't talk to police. Nobody connected to the case can recall any inmates consistently refusing to give their name.
In jail, Thomas refused to give fingerprints or allow a mug shot, and deputies didn't feel compelled to force her to cooperate. Eventually, they confiscated a glass and dusted it for fingerprints, which were run through a national database. They traced her to a warrant in Illinois for failing to appear for a traffic violation, but she claimed she wasn't that person.
Thomas hasn't spoken much in jail and hasn't received visitors. At a court hearing last month when she was still referred to as Jane Doe, she gave a judge several false names and was given a 60-day sentence for being in contempt of court. If she makes bail, Thomas would have to have the contempt charge dismissed, said her public defender, Jennifer Pratt.
She faces charges of trespassing and of theft, accused of stealing an SUV in Wisconsin before coming to Minnesota.
Pratt said Thomas is talking to her, but declined to give specifics. Thomas' bail was reduced from $100,000 to $60,000.
Pendleton made a point of telling Thomas that she must cooperate with a psychologist who will meet with her on Monday to determine whether she's competent to stand trial. She gave a one-word answer, "Yes." Her next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 5.
David Chanen • 612-673-4465