Jail policy was not followed in escape, Richmond County sheriff says

Jail workers erroneously released teen

Monday, Jan. 23, 2012 8:32 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012 1:44 AM
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The inmate who was mistakenly let out of the Richmond County jail was caught Monday night, Sheriff Ronnie Strength said.



About 7:30 p.m., police tracked down Devontae Romeo Roberts in a room at the Rodeway Inn, 2926 Peach Orchard Road.

“We have been following leads closely since it happened,” Strength said. “This one worked out.”

Strength said Roberts was released last weekend because jail workers failed to follow policy.

“We dropped the ball,” Strength said Monday. “The policy was not followed, and I’m not happy about it.”

The sheriff said an internal affairs investigation has been launched to determine exactly where the breakdown occurred and who was responsible for allowing the 19-year-old to walk out of the jail at 12:52 a.m. Saturday.

Jail employees thought they were releasing another inmate, Brett Corey Counts, Strength said. Counts, 20, had been jailed Wednesday on charges of terroristic threats and acts and weapons possession and was
set to be released on bond early Saturday, the sheriff said.

All inmates wear wristbands that identify them for jail workers. Somehow, Roberts was able to get Counts’ wristband and slip through the system checks that are supposed to be performed before any inmate is released, the sheriff said.

“With 1,000 inmates, the guards can’t know each one,” he said.

Jail employees realized their mistake after the woman who had paid Counts’ bail asked why he had not been released, Strength said. After the mistake was caught, the jail was locked down and an investigation was launched. Strength said results of the internal investigation will be given to a review board to determine what action will be taken. He said any disciplinary measures will be approved by him when the time comes.

Strength said Counts claimed no knowledge of how Roberts got his wristband, but he has been charged with aiding an escape, a felony.

Roberts’ girlfriend, Brittney Chanele Boykin, 19, has been charged with hindering the apprehension or punishment of a criminal in connection with the escape, according to sheriff’s Lt. Blaise Dresser. Boykin was being held at the jail Monday.

Roberts was arrested Dec. 18 in connection with an armed robbery of the Family Dollar on Deans Bridge Road, Dresser said.

County records show that Roberts committed an armed robbery in August 2009.

Roberts spent 17 months in confinement. In January 2011, he was credited with time served and sentenced to eight years, seven months on probation.

Comments (15) Add comment
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Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 01/23/12 - 09:57 pm
0
0
The jailers made a mistake

The jailers made a mistake and you can rest assured it will be corrected - the deputies did a great job following leads and making the arrest, adding yet another felony charge to this previously convicted felon.

The real question should be WHY did a convicted armed robber only serve 17 months behind bars before being turned lose on society again to commit another armed robbery. If prosecutors and judges had guns held to their heads by robbers they would NEVER allow these extremely violent and dangerous criminals to be a part of our society again.

He clearly qualifies now for the 3 strikes rule and NO PLEA should be accepted - put him in prison for the remainder of his life.

Riverman1
93286
Points
Riverman1 01/24/12 - 03:57 am
0
0
This time I'll agree with the

This time I'll agree with the Sheriff. When you deal with that many people slip-ups are bound to happen. But I have wondered about those bracelet things after seeing a news account of them. Wouldn't they be easy to switch as was the case here?

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 01/24/12 - 06:02 am
0
0
The ID bands are easy to

The ID bands are easy to switch if they are not put on properly in the first place. Of course a bio-metric device used at booking and release to determine identity would be nice too as a backup to any other checks that are done.

REDRIDER
134
Points
REDRIDER 01/24/12 - 07:02 am
0
0
Was that the Family Dollar

Was that the Family Dollar that was robbed again Sunday?

Little Lamb
48879
Points
Little Lamb 01/24/12 - 08:30 am
0
0
Instead of using plastic

Instead of using plastic wristbands, why not brand the inmates?

Little Lamb
48879
Points
Little Lamb 01/24/12 - 08:34 am
0
0
AsItIs asked: The real

AsItIs asked:

The real question should be WHY did a convicted armed robber only serve 17 months behind bars before being turned lose on society again to commit another armed robbery?

Good question. Sadly, the answer is that a federal judge has declared the Georgia prison system overcrowded. Therefore, any new prisoner that enters state confinement must be accompanied by another prisoner who is released.

I'm not sure who chooses who is to be released. Is it the warden at the individual prison? Does the Pardons & Parole Board set up a waiting list? Is there any rhyme or reason to it at all?

seenitB4
96998
Points
seenitB4 01/24/12 - 08:37 am
0
0
I mean Llamb...that could be

I mean Llamb...that could be a good idea,,,what part of the body would you brand>>>really.....arm-foot-face....some need a sign on them..imo

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/24/12 - 09:09 am
0
0
I'm pretty surprised they

I'm pretty surprised they re-apprehended him so quick. Relieved but guarded now that the flaw was exposed.

REDRIDER
134
Points
REDRIDER 01/24/12 - 10:30 am
0
0
He probably robbed the Family

He probably robbed the Family Dollar again while he was out, will see.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 01/24/12 - 12:05 pm
0
0
Anytime you have a situation

Anytime you have a situation occur, you need to review what could have been done better or differently or discuss how it can be prevented in the future.

Biometric devices would be a far better option but with the commissioners just cutting 1.5 million from the jail budget this year combined with previous cuts does anyone honestly believe something like this can be purchased.

We as a community must understand just how far Public Safety funding has been reduced in the past few years. Doing more with less may be a great slogan and in some cases I agree. However, the major cuts in funding, training, employees and technology towards Public Safety in the CSRA is taking its toll on departments such as the RCSO.

tanbaby
1306
Points
tanbaby 01/24/12 - 01:02 pm
0
0
jail policy was not
Unpublished

jail policy was not followed...well dddddduuuuuuuhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my.voice
5159
Points
my.voice 01/24/12 - 02:19 pm
0
0
Jail Policy: 1 - Don't let

Jail Policy:
1 - Don't let the prisoners out.
2 - Always remember rule #1

End of policy.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 01/24/12 - 05:25 pm
0
0
Kudos to Sheriff Strength,

Kudos to Sheriff Strength, he owned the mistake; promises to take care of it; that's as good as it gets. Good job apprehending the escapee and holding all who participated accountable.

Riverman1
93286
Points
Riverman1 01/24/12 - 05:32 pm
0
0
Yes, to what Willow said.

Yes, to what Willow said. That's a big, complicated operation at the jail and it's nice to see people taking responsibility. Honestly, I wouldn't fire anyone for the guy getting out. It was just one of those things.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 01/24/12 - 05:34 pm
0
0
Agreed River, reference

Agreed River, reference firing.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 01/24/12 - 07:16 pm
0
0
Nice Post River...agreed so

Nice Post River...agreed so long as it wasn't a blatant disregard for policy in which case you can almost rest assured the Sheriff will issue a strong punishment or terminate the individual..

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