Nowata Jail Mix-Up Lets Inmate Walk Free
NOWATA COUNTY, Oklahoma - A mistake at the Nowata County Sheriff's Office let an inmate walk free for almost two days.
The Sheriff said that person was released Friday night because of an internal mistake and now, the Sheriff is vowing to do better while others say he's still not fit for the job.
Lack of training and a mistake from one of Sheriff Kenny Freeman's employees let a man free for about 48 hours.
"We have a board in the back that tells us. I can actually walk into the back and tell who’s in what cell, what their charges are, what their holds are," said Sheriff Freeman.
He said an inmate was released from the Nowata County Jail by accident. The released man is the stepson of former Nowata County Sheriff James Hallett.
"What frustrated me is that he doesn't keep the board and the computers up to know what his prisoners are supposed to be doing," said Hallett.
The former sheriff said his stepson came to his house briefly. He said it wasn't until his wife called the Sheriff's Office that Freeman came to his house and spoke with his wife. That's when he said things got a little heated.
Sheriff Freeman said he left as soon as he was asked to, but Hallett’s wife kept yelling at him. Hallett said Freeman was the one at fault.
"As I turned to leave, I said that's fine I'll be back with a warrant for your arrest cause at that point she’d be considered harboring a fugitive," said Freeman.
The released man ended up turning himself in Sunday evening. But the former Sheriff said he believes things are not being run as well as they could be. He does not want to see other serious errors occur.
"I think that he probably deserves a chance to do that but he's been there long enough when he worked for me that some of these things he should already know," said Hallett.
Sheriff Freeman is asking that people just give him a chance to prove himself.
"It’s very frustrating I haven't even been offered the chance, I do believe I deserve the chance to do some good and I believe I already have," he said.
The Sheriff said he has two CLEET certified deputies, that only his trained corrections officers carry Tasers, and that he is in the process of completing about 80 hours of continuing education to keep up his CLEET certification.