ORLANDO, Fla. - A witness in a high-profile attempted murder case in Orange County said she was instead treated like a criminal and arrested.
Tonya Roberts was arrested hours before she was supposed to testify against Tyrone Mosby, who was found guilty of shooting 16-year-old Danielle Sampson as he fired at another vehicle in Pine Hills last year.
It's unclear exactly why Roberts was arrested before the trial, but Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez said prosecutors must have been afraid this would ruin their case if she didn't show up.
But Roberts said she had every intention of showing up to the courthouse to testify against Mosby.
Roberts told Channel 9 she cried for the teen she had never even met.
"I also have a daughter named Danielle, so I believe that's why it hit me a little hard, to make sure Danielle got justice," said Roberts.
Mosby was a friend of Roberts' daughter and she had seen him in the car connected to the shooting.
Roberts said she cooperated with detectives who questioned her.
"Told them what I heard, what I thought I heard, anything they asked of me. I was in full cooperation," said Roberts.
But a motion filed by the State Attorney's Office accuses Roberts of being belligerent toward law enforcement and refusing to appear for trial, so deputies arrested her.
"I was barefoot, shorts and a shirt and that's how I was taken from my house," she said. "I'm not due there until 1 p.m. and (they were) here to arrest me at 8:30 a.m. (I) couldn't understand it."
When Alvarez tried to get answers, the State Attorney's Office directed her to the
Sheriff's Office. A Sheriff's Office spokesperson told Alvarez to read the motion, but that's not good enough for the mother of eight who now has an attorney and is demanding answers.
"There is a problem here. This is gravely unconstitutional. It's a false arrest, it's a false accusation," Roberts' defense attorney said.
While in custody, Roberts had be to rushed to the hospital for chest pains.
She eventually testified in the case, spending less than 10 minutes on the stand.