A Summerville woman was mistakenly released last week from the Berkeley County jail after the detention center’s staff failed to notice that she pretended to be another inmate who was granted a personal recognizance bond.
The mix-up prompted a Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office investigation to determine what went wrong and why, spokesman Michael Mule said in a statement.
Jessica Davis, 31, of Shirley Court was back in custody Tuesday on shoplifting and trespassing charges, according to Mule.
The mistake occurred Friday when Davis was expected to appear before a judge for a bond hearing, according to Mule.
Davis was placed in the same holding cell as another woman, Chanda Davis, 25, of Lynn Drive in Marion, N.C. That woman, too, was being held on shoplifting charges, Mule said.
During a court hearing, Davis identified herself as the North Carolina woman and was granted a PR bond. She presented herself as the woman twice more when transported back to the jail and later released.
Davis was apprehended around 3 p.m., Mule said.
The incident was not the first time an inmate was mistakenly released from the jail.
A domestic violence suspect was allowed to walk out of the jail in January 2012 after a detention officer failed to read his entire file before clearing him for release.
A paperwork slip-up allowed another inmate to walk out of the jail in November 2013 a week after a judge ruled that she couldn’t be trusted to remain free while awaiting trial. That woman was being held on custodial intervention charges after authorities said she attempted to remove her daughter from school and drive away without permission.
The Sheriff’s Office acknowledged that a mistake was made in the most recent incident but said the public was not placed in harm’s way.
“The detention deputy did not validate the physical descriptors or other pedigree information before releasing Jessica Davis,” Mule said. “This is a violation of Hill-Finklea Detention Center Policy, and an investigation is ongoing in order to clarify what happened and why.”
Reach Christina Elmore at 843-937-5908.