Detention center mistakenly releases Texas prisoner

By Sharna Johnson: Freedm New Mexico

A warrant was issued Tuesday for a Texas prisoner mistakenly released in September from the Curry County Adult Detention Center.

Willie Windom, 46, was released from the jail Sept. 29 after a case against him in the 9th Judicial District Court was dismissed, according to interim jail administrator Audrey Barriga.

Windom was serving a 12-year sentence with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and had been transported to his hometown of Clovis, according to TDCJ spokesman Jason Clark.

Records show Windom had been in the custody of TDCJ since February 2007 on four drug convictions and was returned to Clovis to face criminal sexual penetration and incest charges.

In December 2007, he was taken to Clovis under an interstate agreement that allows the transfer of prisoners from one state to another to answer for charges, Clark said.

The TDCJ’s records and classification division discovered Tuesday during a routine audit that it had been a year since Windom was sent to Clovis. As soon as the mistake was discovered, a warrant was issued for his arrest, Clark said.

“There certainly seems to be a lapse in communication here because he still has a sentence here in Texas that he must continue on,” Clark said. “We’ll be taking appropriate measures to get him back into our custody.”

Barriga said Curry County jail administrators are trying to determine what led to Windom’s release.

“We are looking into whether or not the paperwork to detain him was in his file,” she said. “An investigation is being conducted to see where the mistake happened so we can rectify that to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Court records at the 9th Judicial District Court do not indicate any specific instructions for custody or that a transfer order was issued with the dismissal of Windom’s case.

When charges against an inmate are dismissed, detention officers run a check of the National Crime Information Centers database, Barriga said, explaining the database tracks active warrants but not current incarceration status.