This is a real black eye for Whitman County.
I’ll post a mugshot once I can find it.
UPDATE: Whitman County Sheriff Brett Myers has determined that jail staff in his office mistakenly released Billings. Billings was facing two separate criminal cases, one was dismissed and one was charged. Those case numbers were nearly identical and jail staff mistakenly released Billings. Sheriff Myers says his office will make sure this doesn’t happen again and will ensure that Billings returns to face the criminal charges. The accidental release did not involve any computer system problems in the courthouse.
Computer system problems in the Whitman County Courthouse have possibly caused a jail inmate to be accidentally released.
21-year-old Dantae Billings of Spokane is one of the suspects from this month’s eluding and theft case out of Pullman. Billings was arrested on January 17th for allegedly burglarizing several cars in town. He reportedly failed to pull over for Pullman Police when they tried to arrest him. Officers had to end the car chase since most vehicle pursuits are now banned in the State of Washington. Billings was seen driving toward Moscow into oncoming traffic at 100 MPH and driving through Colfax on Main Street at 80 MPH. Billings and 21-year-old Kaitlyn Corkins were arrested in Southern Spokane county when they ran out of gas.
Authorities didn’t realize that Billings had been mistakenly released from jail until his court hearing Friday morning in Whitman County Superior Court. Whitman County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Dan LeBeau told the court that problems with the jail’s email system might have caused the jail to accidentally release Billings. LeBeau told the judge that the jail never received his email containing charging documents against Billings. Authorities believe that Billings left jail falsely thinking that he wasn’t going to be charged in the case. An arrest warrant wasn’t issued for Billings since he likely believes he no longer faces charges. He has been summoned to appear in court in a week.
Whitman County Commissioner Michael Largent says there is no evidence that an IT problem in the courthouse led to the accidental release. Billings was in jail on 100,000 dollars bond.