Inmate left alone overnight in Whitley County Judicial Center

Published: Jul. 4, 2017 at 4:26 PM EDT
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An inmate was accidentally left overnight at the Whitley County Judicial Center in Williamsburg.

Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell says officials took the inmate, identified as James Thomas Adkins, to the judicial center on Monday afternoon for a hearing on charges related to nonpayment of fines and failure to appear. Sheriff Harrell says the courtroom security officer got distracted by someone threatening to commit suicide. After dealing with that situation, Harrell says the guard forgot to check the holding cells before the judicial center closed.

Adkins ended up spending the night in the center. A pretrial release officer who just happened to be in the building found Adkins in a holding cell around 9:00 Tuesday morning. Officials transported him back to the Whitley County Detention Center.

"In the 47 years I've worked as a police officer and sheriff, people ask me if I've seen everything. Well, I have to say, this is an unusual situation," the sheriff said.

Sheriff Harrell says he plans to investigate what happened in-depth on Wednesday morning. He also says as a result of this mishap, he is creating a checklist for his courtroom security officers to follow before they leave work.