Officials with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) have launched an internal investigation after an inmate was left at the Coffee County Justice Center overnight on Thursday, Feb. 7.
The inmate, Carl Dalton Williams, 33, was transported from the Coffee County Jail to the justice center for a hearing on Thursday, but was never returned to the jail. Deputies with Coffee County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the justice center early Friday, Feb. 8, for training and discovered Williams near the gazebo area outside the building.
“Luckily, he stayed,” said CCSD Capt. Billy Butler, who emphasized that a thorough investigation is underway to determine why Williams was left behind and who is responsible.
“We are going to find out what happened and take corrective actions, and there will be recommendations made,” said Butler. “We made a mistake and we are going to fix it.”
Butler said there were a couple of “critical errors” involved.
“This should have been discovered immediately when the transport officers got back [to the jail],” said Butler. “I’m not sure if there is a [roll] sheet when they come back but there should be. They’ve got to have the same count come back that left.”
Officials also said that Williams’ absence should have been noticed during checks of his cell. Williams is incarcerated for charges of domestic violence, although he has not yet been to trial.
“Another glitch we have had, we are in the process of changing our reporting systems, there might be a glitch in that, but we aren’t exactly sure,” said Butler, who added that all areas will be checked to ensure a similar error does not occur.
Officials said that Williams was in good health and was checked out by medical personnel Friday morning. He remained shackled and handcuffed through the night he was at the justice center.
Butler said that Williams did not have access to offices or sensitive information while inside the building. More information will be reported as it is obtained.