The Netflix docuseries Jailbirds New Orleans features an ensemble cast of female inmates serving time in the Orleans Justice Center. However, the prisoner that clearly emerges as the main character over the course of the three episodes is 23-year-old Harley Himber.
All the inmates featured have memorable stories to tell about how they wound up behind bars, but it would be difficult to try to compare any of them to Harley’s!
Harley Himber arrest details
“Unfortunately, I was high and up for entirely too long,” Harley recalls to the camera. “I attempted to get someone in my car that I didn’t know, ran into the back of their car.”
Harley interrupts herself. “Now, this is allegedly, like, because I don’t quite… exactly remember.”
She then continues her story. “Ran around without clothes on for a little while, and, um, proceeded to tell people that I was in the Secret Service.”
Harley says her antics earned her a visit by the organization she was pretending to be a part of. “The Secret Service actually came and interviewed me. The real Secret Service. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true. Because I was impersonating a federal agent. So, that’s, uh — that really messed me up.”
Harley’s sensational arrest story made numerous local headlines, which reveal that Harley’s poor memory of the afternoon in question may have resulted in a couple details being left out of her retelling.
The events took place in New Orleans just after noon on May 9, 2019. Harley was allegedly in her car parked outside of medical building. A mother and her 15-year-old son exited the building, and Harley approached them and identified herself as a Secret Service agent. (The arrest warrant mentions that Harley stated she worked for the FBI and Secret Service.)
Harley called the boy by his name and insisted that he and his mother get in her car. “She told them that if the boy’s mother didn’t let her son in the car, she would be arrested, police said.” The mother and son did not do as Harley instructed.
More from NOLA.com (link above):
After the mother got into a nearby car with her son and other family members, Himber began to chase them down Elysian Fields Avenue, police said. Himber cut them off in traffic and forced them to turn right onto Music Street, where she rear-ended them twice.
She continued to follow them and rammed her car into theirs again at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Dauphine Street, police said. Then, she got out of her car, stripped naked and started to throw rocks at a nearby business, the warrant stated. She did not cause damage to the business, police said.
Around 1:20 p.m., officers found Himber making “strange hand gestures” and “not very responsive,” the warrant stated. Police said she was possibly on narcotics.
Get details on the 2nd degree murder charge against #JailbirdsNewOrleans inmate Magen Hall after the 2019 stabbing death of a 62-yr-old businessman in New Orleans. Plus, get an update on her murder trial, which has been delayed numerous times. #Jailbirds https://t.co/f7V7nqZfq0 pic.twitter.com/9zCa75zGgB
— Starcasm (@starcasm) September 25, 2021
Harley Himber court case details
When Harley was initially arrested she was charged with attempted simple kidnapping, obscenity, disturbing the peace, driving while drunk, reckless operation of a vehicle, and hit-and-run driving with no serious injury or death. By the time she was formally charged, she was facing attempted simple kidnapping, obscenity, disturbing the peace, and aggravated damage to property.
Harley was ordered to undergo an evaluation to determine her mental competency. The hearing determined that she was competent to stand trial.
At a status hearing in July of 2019, Harley “made an outburst in open court, using profanities.” She was eventually found in contempt of court and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Harley would eventually cop a plea deal that reduced her charges to just one. She pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal damage to property and was given a 3-year suspended sentence on September 3, 2019. As a special condition, Harley was assigned to a forensic assertive community treatment (FACT) mental health program. (It should be noted that Harley’s suspended sentence did not get her out of her 60-day jail sentence stemming from the contempt of court.)
Harley didn’t appear for a court date the following month, and it was later revealed that she had left the treatment facility. A warrant was issued for her arrest, and she was booked on a probation violation in December of 2019. Strangely, the probation violation was from a previous drug possession conviction in 2018. Here are two of Harley’s mug shot photos from December of 2019:
(Harley also has an arrest history in Lafayette Parish, but those court records are behind a very large paywall.)
On January 9, 2020, Harley was sentenced to two years with credit for time served. It’s unclear how much credit she received. The sentence included placement in a drug treatment program. I am assuming that it was this sentence which Harley was serving when she filmed for Jailbirds New Orleans, although I do not know that for sure.
Harley Himble update: Is she back in jail?
As Jailbirds New Orleans viewers are well aware, she was released from jail during filming. She hoped to be able to finally get her life on track, especially since she has a young son. (According to birth records, Harley’s son is now six and a half.)
Was Harley successful? Has she managed to stay out of jail? I checked with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections and was informed that Harley’s current incarceration status is listed as being under probation supervision — which would indicate that she is not currently behind bars. I do not know if she is in a treatment facility or not.
I couldn’t find an active social media account for Harley on any platform.
#JailbirdsNewOrleans Julie Raffray was charged with 2nd-degree murder after a man she sold drugs to overdosed. The man who died turned out to be an FBI informant. And the dealer Julie was selling for was a DEA informant! Plus, an update on Julie's case. https://t.co/HWdIOZ6oqN
— Starcasm (@starcasm) September 28, 2021