Muskogee Man Re-Arrested After Jail's Mistake; Family Wants Answers

Thursday, September 17th 2015, 6:57 pm
By: News On 6

A Muskogee man got a taste of freedom, but it didn’t last long, and now he doesn’t know when he’ll get out.

He was released from a jail in southern Oklahoma, but his family said the jail made a mistake.

Sheena Lawson spent three happy days with her son, Brian Shipley, after he was released from the Jefferson County Jail earlier this week, but then they got a call saying it was all a mistake.

The Department of Corrections came to the Muskogee County Courthouse and arrested Brian, again, leaving his family heartbroken and more confused than ever.

The 23-year-old Shipley served about nine months of his two-year sentence for burglary. Then his mom got the good news - Shipley told her he was getting out - so she rented a car and drove five hours to pick up her son.

"He was standing at the door waiting on me," Lawson said.

On their way home they stopped at Turner Falls, wanting to make the most of Shipley's first taste of freedom in nearly a year.

Lawson said, "We took our time coming home, I really didn't want it to end."

But it did end. The next morning they got a call from the DOC, saying the jail had released her son too soon.

They arrested him, again, and took him to Jess Dunn Correctional Facility - a minimum-security prison in Taft.

Shipley’s girlfriend, Bailey Bowden said, "I was more nervous, but then I started crying because I was more upset."

"I had been through so many emotions just in the last three days that, at that point, I was just angry," Lawson said.

To make matters even more confusing for his family, there's no record of Shipley even being in the system - he's listed as inactive - and Lawson said Jess Dunn has no record of him being an inmate there.

The DOC said Shipley was released early, saying it was not their mistake but one made by the Jefferson County Jail.

Lawson said she's past the point of blaming. She just wants answers and her son home as soon as possible, this time for good.

"I can't believe that happened to him. I'm here for him, though. I'll do whatever I have to do to save his life," she said.

According to Terry Watkins, spokesperson for the DOC, Shipley still has 200 days to serve at Jess Dunn. Watkins said he could have been eligible for restored credit, but had violations on his record for owning two cell phones.