Valley man, Nathan Powell, freed from jail over unpaid debt

It's good to be home on Father's Day for one Arizona man who was just released from jail.

He served time behind bars because he has too much debt. And his attorney says that's not even allowed.

Nathan Powell spent five days behind bars this week for failing to pay $32,000 to his wife per their divorce settlement.

Powell says he couldn't pay it. He had just lost his teaching job and had pulled out his retirement funds to help pay the bills for his four sons.

While you can go to jail for failing to pay child support, Arizona has a constitutional provision that says you can't be put behind bars for failing to pay debt.

Powell's attorney Marc Victor says this was ordinary debt, and the judge violated his constitutional rights.

"He doesn't even let the argument go forward. And just in essence takes him into custody and puts him in jail, flat out in violation of the AZ constitution," Victor said.

As Powell was taken to jail Monday, Victor appealed.

"The first couple days, I was like in shock," Powell said.

Powell said he never expected to land behind bars. He says the whole experience was surreal. For a while he thought days in jail could turn into weeks.

"My situation, I don't deserve to be there. And that's what hurt the worst," Powell said.

But then a judge ordered him to be released  Friday.

"You just have to pray and hope that somebody sees the right thing. And I think they did," he said.

It was perfect timing. Powell said this Father's Day was the best one yet.

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