Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The man who was mistakenly released from Orleans Parish Jail without an ankle monitor is still on the run after allegedly committing a crime in Jefferson Parish just a couple of hours after his release.
On Friday, Nov. 17, Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson, along with members of her staff, explained how this happened and what’s being done to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.
The sheriff said 37-year-old Lewis Stokes was released at 11:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, after the woman he allegedly assaulted in Jefferson Parish around 2 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, paid his bond shortly before 8 p.m.
According to Hutson, the release unit staff member received a printed copy of Stokes’ court records but did not contact the monitoring agency for Stokes to be fitted with an ankle monitor prior to his release. The sheriff said Stokes was supposed to be on house arrest 24-7.
Regarding corrective action, Hutson says the release cover sheet will be modified to alert the person on duty to fully read the paperwork to see if an ankle monitor is needed.
The sheriff also says additional training will be provided to those who work in the release unit, and the sheriff’s office will be hiring a nighttime supervisor.
“We know firsthand the impact of this kind of error and what it can have on a victim’s life,” Hutson said. “It affects their peace of mind and their sense of security, for that we are truly sorry.”
The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office is assisting Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies in their search for Stokes, who is now wanted on two misdemeanor domestic battery charges.
Stokes is believed to still be in the New Orleans area.
If you have any information about Stokes’ whereabouts, call your local law enforcement agency.
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