It’s been more than three years since Andrada Dajicu last saw her grandmother in Romania. Now a visit is crucial.
The 82-year-old woman who practically raised her is dying of a heart condition.
But a judge’s decision could keep Dajicu from making the trans-Atlantic journey.
“If I don't see her, that is just it,” said Dajicu, 20. "I will probably end up going crazy.”
Police arrested Dajicu's ex-boyfriend for assault last September. She said photos show she wasn't badly hurt, but because police were called the case was prosecuted against her wishes.
Dajicu still planned to testify, but told prosecutors months ago she would be leaving for Romania on July 14 — the same day the trial is now set to start.
“She was so excited. She's old, you know,” Dajicu said about her grandmother. “You don't know what's going to happen.”
Dajicu said Denton County Judge Jim Crouch threatened to put her in jail if she fails to appear on Monday. Court transcripts confirm Judge Crouch said he would issue a warrant for her arrest and called her a flight risk.
“He treated me like I am a criminal,” she said.
Dajicu is being represented by attorney George Milner.
“Twenty-two years of being a lawyer and I’ve never heard of a judge doing this,” Milner said. “Never heard of it.”
Typically, only defendants are threatened with arrest to insure they show up in court.
Even the defense attorney stood up for Dajicu, but the judge didn’t back down.
“My issue is: Why they can't change the day?” asked Dajicu’s mother, Mariana. “Why is it so hard for them to change that day?”
Milner said trial dates are changed all the time, often much to the frustration of the victims. He saw no reason for the judge to not accommodate Dajicu’s travel plans.
News 8 tried to reach Judge Crouch for comment, but he was not available.
Dajicu had to make a trip to Washington for a special passport because she is not a U.S. citizen. She said she can't afford another $3,000 plane ticket, but — more importantly — she can't afford not to see her precious grandmother one last time.