Pennsylvania Lawyer Jailed 14 Years for Contempt of Court Freed

A Pennsylvania lawyer whose 14 years in jail are apparently a record in a U.S. civil contempt case was ordered released from prison on Friday.

H. Beatty Chadwick, who has been jailed in suburban Philadelphia since 1995 for a charge stemming from a contentious divorce will be released later Friday.

"He'll be home in time for the Phillies game," said Chadwick's attorney, Michael Malloy.

The septuagenarian Chadwick was jailed in November 2004, accused of hiding the whereabouts of $2.5 million from his ex-wife during divorce proceedings. Chadwick maintained he lost the money in bad investments. In 2006, before the economic downturn, experts estimated the money would be worth more than $8 million.

After repeated attempts to have himself freed, Chadwick's request was granted by Delaware County Judge Joseph Cronin, who determined his continued incarceration had lost its coercive effect and would not result in him turning over the money.

Chadwick and the former Barbara Jean "Bobbie" Crowther married in 1977 and lived in Philadelphia's wealthy Main Line suburbs. She filed for divorce in 1992.

Bobbie Chadwick, now known as Bobbie Applegate, declined to comment when reached by telephone at her home in Maine on Friday.

Applegate's attorney, Albert Momjian, said it was the longest incarceration on a civil contempt case in U.S. history.

A one-time corporate lawyer, Chadwick has battled non-Hodgkins lymphoma in prison.

The first thing Chadwick wanted to do upon his release was to get a burger and a beer, Malloy said.