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Tweeting blows the whistle on 'Pulp Fiction' co-screenwriter

Roger Avary was locked up after Twitter messages believed to be from him revealed he was in a furlough program instead of jail for a fatal car crash.

November 28, 2009|By Raja Abdulrahim
  • Roger Avary, who is believed to be tweeting as @avary, was sentenced to a year in jail for a fatal car crash.
Roger Avary, who is believed to be tweeting as @avary, was sentenced to a… (Los Angeles Times )

"Pulp Fiction" co-screenwriter Roger Avary was behind bars at the Ventura County Jail on Friday -- several days after what is believed to be the writer-director's tweeting revealed that he was serving his sentence for a fatal car crash in a furlough program rather than in jail.

In September, Avary was sentenced to a year in jail for causing a car crash in Ojai that injured his wife and killed a passenger.

Earlier this week, Times technology blogger Mark Milian discovered some tweets coming from @avary and speculated about whether Avary was tweeting from jail.

But Avary wasn't in jail. Rather, he was serving his time in a Ventura County work furlough program, which allowed him to go to his job during the day. He reported to the furlough facility -- a modified former Air Force barracks at Camarillo Airport -- at night and on weekends.

It's unclear when officials decided to allow Avary to enter the furlough program, or how that decision was reached. It is also unknown where the screenwriter spent his days, but inmates in the program are not allowed to work at home.

On Friday, however, officials said Avary was in full-time custody. He reported to the Ventura County Jail for incarceration on Thanksgiving Day for "security issues," sheriff's spokesman Capt. Ross Bonfiglio said.

Patrick Neil, a division manager for Ventura County's probation department, would not comment on why Avary was removed from the furlough program.

"Any causes behind a roll-up is not something we can discuss," Neil said, using the term for an inmate being transferred from one facility to another.

On Thursday evening, @avary -- who has been referring to himself as #34 -- tweeted: "#34 is 'rolled up' to a higher security facility for exercising his first amendment rights. The truth he has discovered is too dangerous."

Bonfiglio said that Avary had not previously spent a night in the jail because he posted bail the day he was arrested. When he reported to jail Oct. 26, he was remanded at 7:54 a.m. and released 11 minutes later, records show.

Bonfiglio said it was probably a "procedural process" and that Avary was referred to the work furlough program, where he spent his days on the outside.

But followers wouldn't get that impression from what are believed to be Avary's tweets, which chronicle life inside jail amid heroin smuggling, lockdowns and strip searches.

"#34's new roomie, EZ, takes Yeyo's old bunk, locker, AND number. He regales awesome tales about his former life as an Oxnard gangbanger," @avary tweeted Tuesday at 9:17 a.m.

Two weeks earlier, @avary tweeted: "It's your birthday! announcing that #34 is to receive a random strip-down and cavity search to be performed by a leering, rotund officer."

raja.abdulrahim@latimes.com

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