Both human errors and policy mistakes are blamed for the accidental release of a federal inmate at the Blount County Correctional Facility and no personnel face disciplinary action.
The Blount County Sheriff's Office provided preliminary results from an internal investigation concerning the release of a federal inmate.
55 year-old Dewyatt Allen Hill was freed on July 18. Federal authorities continue to search for the convict.
According to the United States Marshals Service, Hill was convicted for multiple "take-over" style pharmacy robberies and faced 71 years in jail.
A news release, from the BCSO, now reveals how Hill was allowed to escape.
A BCSO spokesperson said corrections officers were faxed a mittimus from U.S. Marshals on July 18 for Hill. The words "released from USM (U.S. Marshals) custody w/detainer" were handwritten at the bottom of the form. In general, a mittimus is a document that directs officers to keep an inmate until he/she is transferred to prison.
The mittimus caused corrections officers to search for any detainers (holds) on Hill. According to the BCSO spokesperson, Hill did have a hold, but the paperwork was not properly filed nor entered into the Sheriff's Office Management system. The mittimus was also not properly filed. Hill would be released that day.
Jail personnel must follow three new policies. If a detainer is received on a subject who is in BCSO custody, the detainer, or a copy of the detainer, shall be placed in the inmate's file immediately. Staff must place an indicator in BCSO's booking system to show that a "hold" or "hold for detainer" is active on an inmate when a detainer has been received. Plus, a corrections supervisor shall review and authorize each release of an inmate.
The sheriff's office said no personnel was disciplined since the error was due to both human error as well as policy error.
Even though Hill was released, U.S. Marshals consider the action an escape. If captured, five more years could be tacked on to Hill's original sentence.
Since Hill's release, Blount County Sheriff James Berrong has denied 10News' request for an interview on the matter.