BUFFALO, N.Y. -- She allegedly abducted her own daughter and set off a statewide AMBER Alert, but Mikesha Lawson is out of police custody. Her release is under special circumstances.
Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee of Buffalo City Court modified Lawson's bail Monday morning, and reduced it from $100,000 to $10,000. She then gave Lawson’s family the option of paying the fee or having her released "under supervision."
This means she'll have to undergo a police interview, stay with family members who’ve been approved by the court and follow up with parole officers periodically, but most importantly, she'll also have to abide by two separate orders of protection issued in family court and city court. Both of them forbid her from contacting her four-year-old daughter, Mikeya Houston, and the family member who now has custody of her.
It's a stipulation the judge made sure she understood, asking her five times if she was clear about the terms of her release. Johnson-Lee also reminded her that if she violated the order of protection she would be arrested again.
It's a situation that Lawson's attorney, Matthew Albert, said has been completely blown out of proportion.
"If this was a young, white single mother of wealth coming from Clarence that picked up her kid from high, middle school or whoever and took them to Anderson's on Werhle Drive, guess what?” asked Albert.
“We wouldn't have all been woken up at one in the morning for an AMBER Alert and we wouldn't be sending feds across the street to handle this matter, $100,000 bail, and they wouldn't be looking to lock the door and throw away the key."
Despite missing her daughter dearly, Albert says he’s confident that Lawson will be able to follow the rules.
"She was sort of taking on the world by herself before, which when you're a 23-year-old single mother, it is not a pretty place to be. I think now, she really has a strong support network now so she can attack this the right way so she can regain custody rights to her child in a manner that's in compliance with New York State law,” said Albert.
Lawson's charges include custodial interference, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal contempt and resisting arrest, several of which have been downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors.
Albert says in the end, he expects some of them to be dropped altogether.
Her next court appearance is set 2 p.m. on March 30.