Marion County sheriff: Handling error led to inmate's mistaken release

Brandy Majors

Ten Marion County sheriff's employees have been disciplined after a handling error allowed an inmate to walk out of jail on July 12th, prompting a jail lockdown and search the next day.

In a report issued Friday, Sheriff John Layton says his investigation showed Brandy Majors walked out of the Marion County Jail at 8:33 am on Friday, July 12, 2013. The sheriff also says he will not seek criminal charges against her for walking away.

The sheriff says a "handling error" allowed Majors to be in an area of the jail with other female inmates who were to be released. Those women were called for identification, checked off of a release list, their jail wrist bands were removed and their property was returned.

According to the sheriff, surveillance video confirmed that Brandy Majors did not go through the release process. The video also confirmed that when the jail door opened to release the other inmates, Majors simply slipped in line and walked out with the crowd.

Sheriff Layton said it was due to a "series of errors" that 29 hours went by before anyone noticed Majors was missing. That prompted a search for her the following Saturday afternoon.

The sheriff says Majors "avoided law enforcement" but did contact local media, including WTHR. She was taken into custody the following Sunday.

Majors maintains her innocence and says she's a victim of identity theft. She also says she had no criminal intent when she walked away.

Investigators believe the evidence contradicts Majors' claims, but will seek no criminal charges against her. It was Majors' sixth visit to the jail since January 2010. She has prior arrests for theft and receiving stolen property.

"My jail personnel made critical errors in the processing of Ms. Majors, but those errors did not give her the right to slip out of the Jail and evade custody. Members of my staff have faced disciplinary action arising from the negligent processing of Ms. Majors. A total of 10 people were disciplined, ranging from a demotion to 24-60 hours off without pay, and all are subject to remedial training," said the sheriff.@