Inmate impersonates judge to get out of jail

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A Cincinnati man who was arrested last week made calls from inside a jail where he was posing as a judge, cops say.

According to his arrest affidavit, 23-year-old James Eagle was locked up April 10 after allegedly stealing a license plate.

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From jail, Eagle allegedly made multiple phone calls to the clerk of court's office in which he posed as Judge Richard Bernat.

In the recorded phone calls, cops say Eagle told courthouse staff to give him O.R. bonds, or bonds freeing him on his own recognizance rather than for a dollar amount.

When the judge and sheriff's office were notified, Bernat informed officials he'd not made the call.

Eagle was reportedly never confronted about the alleged phone calls in court. He was given a $5,000 bond, however, and released after paying 10 percent of it.

But cops say the story didn't end there.

According to WKRC, cops say a detective signed warrants for Eagle's arrest on charges he impersonated Judge Bernat. After he left, another suspicious call was reportedly made to staff at the warrants department.

The caller said the warrants were a mistake, according to Eagle's arrest affidavit.

"Mr. Eagle is not as slick as he thinks he is... once apprehended he faces three additional charges [related to the alleged impersonations]," said Mike Robinson of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

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Eagle is now considered a fugitive and a $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

If convicted on the new charges, Eagle could face a years-long jail sentence.

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