One Man’s Fight to Free His Son from America’s Incarceration Addiction

Despite [the best efforts of father Bill Austin], it appeared that Nathan would soon be the property of Colorado’s Department of Corrections. Unless a miracle happened.

That miracle arrived in the form of an odd coupling of a maverick City Attorney from Seattle who once instructed his subordinates to not prosecute marijuana smokers prior to legalization, and a straight-laced Assistant District Attorney in one of Colorado’s most conservative bastions.

“Bill is the persistent widow,” Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes says from his Columbia Tower office on a recent afternoon, referring to the Biblical tale of a widow who pesters an unmoving judge until he delivers her justice. Bill, sitting next to Holmes, chuckles at the comparison.

Bill and Holmes have a history together, but it took a while for Nathan’s plight to reach the City Attorney’s attention. When Holmes learned of Nathan’s situation, he stepped in. “This was something I thought could be handled prosecutor to prosecutor,” he says. In search of a resolution, he reached out to Richard Tuttle, the Assistant District Attorney in Mesa County overseeing Nathan’s extradition.

Read more by visiting Seattle Weekly’s online article