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CCA Investigates Second Mistaken Release of Inmate

Updated:

The private company that operates the Tulsa Jail is investigating the second mistaken release of an inmate in less than a week.

Lance J. Sherwood, who was wanted by federal authorities for possession of a handgun, was released from custody last week. When officials looked at his record, they realized that Sherwood, 30, still should have been in jail following a previous arrest.

Members of the Northern Oklahoma Fugitive Task Force arrested Sherwood outside a south Tulsa department store on Wednesday following a brief scuffle, Tulsa police spokesman Lucky Lamons said Thursday.

He was arrested on complaints of possession of a firearm after a former conviction of a felony, possession of a stolen vehicle after a former conviction of a felony, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest, Lamons said.

Sherwood was arrested earlier this month on charges of writing counterfeit checks and should not have been released because of a detainer from the U.S. Marshals Service.

Officials with Corrections Corporation of America, the jail's operator, are contacting law enforcement agencies to make sure that inmates with detainers are locked up.

“Obviously, we need to be proactive to find out if any other issues arise,” Warden Don Stewart said.

CCA officials are mulling whether to take further action against a jail intake clerk who was fired Monday following Sunday's mistaken release of Courtney K. Thompson.

Thompson, 20, was wanted in Osage County on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon. A friend of the family said Thompson surrendered to Osage County authorities.

CCA fired Ahmad Watkins for not entering the order to hold Thompson into the computer. Watkins may also be responsible for not entering a hold order for Sherwood, Stewart said.

Jail officials could not find any paperwork on Sherwood's detainer, but they learned from the Marshals Service that Watkins had signed off on it.

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