Blount Co. DA calls mass state inmate release a “disaster” after learning of a convicted murderer released without an ankle monitor

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 9:26 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Blount County’s District Attorney, Pamela Casey, called the release of state inmates a “disaster.” She said a man convicted of a 1994 murder is walking free without an ankle monitor.

Casey said the Board of Pardon and Paroles assured her that inmates from Blount County would have ankle monitors upon release, but she said if she had not specifically gone to check on this convicted murderer, no one would have notified her or police that he was released without a monitor.

“If murder doesn’t put you up there where you need to be monitored, what does,” Casey said.

Casey said she went to get ankle monitor information on one of the newly released state inmates, so she could notify the victim. That’s when she learned the 1994 convicted murderer was released without a monitor, because she said the state considers him low risk.

“They don’t consider him to be a risk to the public because he doesn’t have a prior conviction,” she said. “He was not a sex offender, so he was considered low risk. If they’re using that as a way to monitor, that means almost everyone will have an ankle monitor off.”

Casey said the victim’s family is angry over the lack of monitoring and even already got a restraining order against the inmate.

“She was the wife of this guy, he had killed his brother, and then had dug a hole to kill her and put her body,” Casey said. “We had a hearing today. He did not show up. Well, we assume ‘at least he is on an ankle monitor and we will know where he is.’ Well we don’t know.”

Casey said sheriff’s departments don’t have the manpower to track these inmates and she worries about this happening again and someone not catching it.

“How horrific that until somebody calls and checks, nobody realizes that a guy doesn’t have a ankle monitor on when he should have one on,” she said. “My fear is that innocent people are going to die because of a mishap with Pardons and Paroles.”

The Board of Pardons and Paroles initially told us earlier this week that the inmate had been released with GPS monitoring to a halfway house, until August, when his sentence is up. We are told now he is set to get an ankle monitor in the morning on February 3rd.

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