GOP candidate criticizes sheriff over inmate release mistakes

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INDIANAPOLIS – Five times in the last week Marion County Sheriff’s deputies have been forced to track down inmates mistakenly released from the jail.

Now the man who is running to replace Sheriff John Layton in November has taken notice.

“If this trend continues its just a matter of time before one of these subjects gets out and then creates another heinous crime,” said republican Emmitt Carney.

Layton, in Texas for a national sheriffs convention, told Fox59 News the two most recent inadvertent releases were due to, “human error.”

Sasha Chiclana, 26, was held on promoting prostitution and Promotion of Human Trafficking of a Minor. Christopher Robinson, 36, has four criminal counts, including two felonies, lodged against him. Both offenders were mistakenly released by the jail but later re-confined.

On the day Chiclana was being released, Lt. Col. Louis Dezelan told Fox59 News that the type of mistakes that led to three offenders being prematurely cut loose last week by sheriff’s deputies wouldn’t happen again.

“They are just double-checking everything from every aspect,” Dezelan told Fox59’s Kendall Downing Monday. “We’re going way above and beyond to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

“All of our people on our side and I think in the other agencies are all double-entering and double-checking every aspect of this. Our people are doing this.”

After Carney criticized Layton outside the Marion County Jail, Dezelan said his comments Monday were only directed toward double-checking information regarding 72-hour holds of offenders issued by the Marion Superior Courts.

“As sheriff I would implement a release protocol that would require two people, at least, to cross-check and make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” said Carney.

Dezelan said the sheriff’s department already has such a protocol in place, sometimes including oversight by a supervisor, and such rules should have been observed during the mistaken release of Chiclana and Robinson earlier this week.

One of the inmates released by mistake last week, Ronald Johnson, told Fox59 News that he was not arrested as the sheriff’s department originally claimed but rather turned himself in early Friday morning after seeing his photograph on the news.

“They let me go, and then put me on there like I was a criminal,” said Johnson who is being held on a $15,000 bond in reference to a theft case. “They said they captured me. Nobody captured me. I came and turned myself in…because I got a felony and I got to clear that up. I don’t wanna be running around here dodging police.

“I was surprised they pin me up like I was an all outright criminal or something.”

Ronald Johnson, his son Antoine Johnson and Chester Irons were all mistakenly released and re-confined after a software connectivity glitch linking the Superior Court’s Odyssey case management system with the sheriff’s department’s records.

Lavonne Johnson is the mother of Antoine and the wife of Ronald. Both men face theft charges from the same incident.

Lavonne told Fox59 News that when sheriff’s detectives arrived at her home last Thursday to serve a warrant for Antoine’s arrest, Ronald was also wanted and seated on the couch yet the investigators did not inquire of his identity.

A sheriff’s spokeswoman told Fox59 News that the detectives had another previous address for Ronald Johnson and that’s why they were not aware of his location at the home where his wife and son lived and why they made no attempt to inquire as to his relationship to Antoine despite their identical last names and arrests for the same crime.