Fourth inmate freed by mistake Bail was posted for elder brother at detention center

November 18, 1997|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Another inmate has been released by mistake from the Maryland prison system -- freed when bail was posted for his brother -- making it the fourth erroneous release since Sept. 30.

Russell John Yarborough Jr., 26, was released Saturday morning from the Baltimore City Detention Center when someone posted bail for his 36-year-old brother, who is also named Russell John Yarborough Jr., according to a prisons spokesman.

Leonard A. Sipes, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said the younger Yarborough, of the 800 block of N. Streeper St., was arrested Nov. 7 and ordered held on $15,000 bail on charges of second-degree assault, burglary, destruction of property and theft.

His elder brother was arrested Nov. 11 and ordered held on $10,000 bail after he was charged with second-degree assault on another person, Sipes said.

When someone posted bail for the elder Yarborough at 8: 45 a.m. Saturday, the younger one was released by mistake, Sipes said. He said that a correctional officer at the detention center discovered the error at 9 a.m.

"We missed him by 15 minutes," Sipes said.

The elder Yarborough, whose bail was posted for him, was released later Saturday, Sipes said.

He said that when the second Yarborough brother was arrested, he was initially assigned his own "tracking number," which is assigned to each inmate to track him throughout the prison system.

But he said that a lieutenant at the detention center noticed that two tracking numbers had been assigned to the same inmate.

Sipes said the lieutenant notified the detention center's records division, where one of the two tracking numbers was deleted from the files.

"The belief was that additional charges had just been filed against the same individual," Sipes said.

Sipes declined to identify the official who deleted the file.

"A personnel review is pending, and we do expect disciplinary action to be taken," Sipes said.

It was the fourth mistaken release since Sept. 30.

Larry George Owens, 24, of the 4100 block of Pimlico Road in Northwest Baltimore was mistakenly released from the Maryland Penitentiary on Sept. 30 when a case manager failed to fully check records. Owens, ordered held on murder charges, showed up Friday for his trial in Baltimore Circuit Court. His trial has been rescheduled for Feb. 4.

Rickey F. Alston Sr., 29, who was sentenced for drug and robbery convictions, was mistakenly released Oct. 11 but surrendered Oct. 24 after seeing reports about his disappearance on the news.

Bradrick Thomas Greene, 23, was erroneously released Oct. 7 from the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center when he was to be held to continue a burglary sentence in Baltimore County. Greene surrendered Oct. 8.

Sipes said that Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Stuart O. Simms ordered a series of measures yesterday to prevent future erroneous releases. They include:

Review of every release by two supervisors before the inmate is freed.

All inmates with 30 days left on their sentence will be required to remain at the Baltimore City Detention Center rather than be transferred to other facilities.

Use of color-coded folders for inmates who have pending charges and court dates.

Pub Date: 11/18/97

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