Sheriff’s Office cites policy, human errors in inmate’s release
By Wes Wade | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office has cited a combination of policy and human errors in the July release of a federal inmate sentenced for his alleged role in several pharmacy robberies.
Dewyatt Allen Hill, 55, is still on the loose after his July 18 release from the Blount County Detention Facility, where he was serving time on Blount County and state charges, police said. Blount County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant said a preliminary report completed last week found that both policy and human error led to Hill’s release.
On July 18 corrections officers at the facility were faxed a mittimus, typically an order directing jailers to hold a subject in prison, with a handwritten memo on the bottom which read “released from USMS (United States Marshals Service) custody w/ detainer.”
When a local and state search through the National Crime Information Center database failed to find any agencies requesting a hold, or detainer, on Hill, he was released, O’Briant said.
While the mittimus was filed away in Hill’s information, O’Briant said, there was nothing in the booking system indicating the detainer was present.
Three policy changes were implemented last week after the preliminary report on Hill’s release was finished in an attempt to address these issues, O’Briant said.
First, when the facility receives a detainer, it must immediately be placed in the inmate’s file. The second change involves a new indicator in the facility’s booking system that shows active holds on inmates when a detainer is received.
The third and final policy change requires a supervisor’s approval in a release. If an inmate is subject to release, O’Briant said, a supervisor must now review and authorize that release.
No disciplinary action
No disciplinary action was taken on those corrections officers involved in Hill’s release, O’Briant added.
“Nobody was disciplined because it was partly a policy error, too,” she said. “Both human error and policy error (were to blame), which we have taken steps as far as both to ensure that (situation) won’t happen again.”
Hill was convicted in federal court earlier this year for his alleged role in multiple “take-over” style robberies of CVS pharmacies in the Knoxville area, according to a statement from the Knoxville Police Department issued after his release. He was sentenced to more than seven decades in prison. According to federal court records, three other men were also sentenced in connection with these robberies, which involved firearms.
Police said Hill is to be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Hill is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 125 pounds and has green eyes and brown hair.
Anyone with any information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 865-545-4182.