Paperwork error frees inmate

Published 10:10 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Suffolk man was improperly released from jail in June because of a paperwork error but now is back in custody, the jail’s superintendent said.

Travis Donnelle Eley, 23, was arrested in March on three charges of distribution of cocaine, according to an online court system. He was granted bond, but was arrested again in June on several new charges and put back in jail, said Superintendent William C. Smith.

However, the new charges were all dismissed or not prosecuted, Smith said. When he was returned to the jail following his court appearance, the staff was unaware his bond for the first charges had been revoked.

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“My staff thought he was still on bond for the other three charges,” Smith said. “We found out his bond was revoked, so we shouldn’t have let him out.”

Smith said the mistake was caught after Eley’s release when a supervisor was conducting a routine review of the paperwork. The jail called the court and had a warrant for Eley’s re-arrest issued. It was served Tuesday.

Smith said he believes the error was the first mistaken release in the four years he has been superintendent at the jail.