RICHMOND (WRIC) – An inmate convicted of attempted murder who was mistakenly released from Richmond City Jail last week is back in custody.
Evan Kelsey turned himself in at the jail Thursday. Authorities had been searching for him since Tuesday when the mistake was discovered a judge ordered his arrest.
Kelsey was convicted felon facing a possible ten year sentence for shooting a woman during an alleged drug deal gone bad.
Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring admits the prosecutor in Kelsey's case dropped the ball but Herring says he takes responsibility.
“I'm not casting blame on any other agency. Even if there is blame to be shared, the fact of the matter is, if we'd done things the way we normally do them, we wouldn't be standing here now.”
When Kelsey was convicted for attempted murder, the prosecutor did not ask the court to revoke his bond. That's standard procedure after a conviction and sentencing recommendation.
The 26-year-old defendant remained behind bars at the jail because he faced numerous charges from another case including aggravated malicious wounding, burglary and robbery.
However, when the prosecutor opted not to pursue those charges, which meant Kelsey could be released on his bond from the first case.
“The prosecutor should have foreseen that, but I think what the person assumed was that bond had been addressed, even though it had not been discussed in open court,” Herring says.
Herring says there are no plans to punish the prosecutor responsible for the mistake. He believes office protocol will prevent it from happening again.
“I think in an abundance of caution,” he says. “What my folks will do from now on is make sure we don't leave the courtroom without making sure we have had a discussion of bond on the record and that means the judge makes a statement that bond is either continued or bond is revoked.”
“It's just a painful, embarrassing lesson. The office is sort of watching this play out in real time and we'll learn from it.”
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond