Inmate's apparent release prompts questions at Marion County Jail
A Marion County jail inmate was missing for more than a day before jailers realized she was gone. Brandy Majors turned herself in when she learned deputies were searching for her.
Overcrowding has been a problem for years here at the Marion County Jail and jail officials say that may have been one factor involved in the inmate's release. The Marion County sheriff's Department won't give us an update yet on what happened Saturday, but Brandy Majors told us her story.
"They said I'm like some hard criminal that's running away when they released me out of there," said Majors, 32, speaking from the Hendricks County Jail.
Majors turned herself in to the Marion County sheriff on Sunday, but she refused to return to his jail.
"They know they messed up," she said.
Eyewitness News has learned the Marion County Sheriff's Department is conducting an internal investigation. We've requested to see the videos along with phone records.
"I got released with five other females that morning," Majors said. "I used the courtesy pay phone to call a ride."
Jail officials aren't ready to explain their version of what happened here.
"There will be accountability handed down," said Major Michael Hubbs, Marion County Sheriff's Department.
Brandy Majors was booked Thursday on a warrant for auto theft out of Hendricks County. Just 12 hours later, she says was allowed to leave the Marion County Jail. It wasn't until nearly 35 hours later that Jail staff noticed Brandy Majors was gone. The jail was put on lockdown and Majors was labeled as an escapee.
"They put me all over the news, more or less. They have slandered my name," she said.
Majors says she walked out of the jail because she thought her charges had been dropped because of mistaken identity. It happened to her before.
Greenfield Police tell Eyewitness News they thought a woman captured on surveillance video was Brandy Majors. That woman bought Oxycodone using Majors' identification. But Majors doesn't have a tattoo on her right leg like the woman in the video, and her purse and ID were stolen six months before the fake prescription was used at the pharmacy. That charge was dropped.
Since 2011, 13 inmates have been released by accident. The jail calls these "wrongful releases." It can be a mistake by the court, other agencies or the sheriff's department.
The jail has been locked down twice since January 1, 2011. There have been approximately 150,000 releases from the jail since that date, and 13 of those were wrongful releases. Wrongful releases can result from error on the part of the courts and other agencies as well as on the part of the sheriff's office.
Even though Brandy Majors says the recent auto theft charge is also tied to mistaken identity, she was in court Monday to face that charge.