Why Was Collie Willard Released from Jail? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/20/03

Why Was Collie Willard Released from Jail?

Collie Willard, a possible suspect in this weekends stabbing death of 22-year-old Roberto Esquivel, should have been behind bars at the time of the fight. So what went wrong? Why was this inmate on the streets to begin with?

Collie Willard is in the Lubbock County Jail where he should be until next July. He's scheduled to serve a 365 day sentence and owes the county $256 for a domestic assault charge back in April of last year. But a clerical error released Willard in January and the question now is how did that happen?

Willard spent the last several years appealing a possession of a controlled substance charge. Last year that appeal was denied and a domestic violence assault charge was added. Willard was booked into the Lubbock County Jail on November 15th where he was to be held until his transfer one month later to TDC. He was transferred to TDC to serve a four year term. TDC credited the time he'd already served, and released Willard one month later. But there's a problem because when he finished his time there, he should've been sent here?

"Yes. He still owes the county 365 days and a $256 fine. He hasn't fulfilled that situation yet with us," said Captain Bill Drewell of the Lubbock County Sheriff's Department.

So what should've happened? "Basically once an inmate has served his time with TDC, if there's a detainer on him which is a hold for any county, like us, TDC would notify us that this inmate has served his TDC time and is eligible for release back to agency if they still have a charge. And we did not get that notification," says Captain Drewell.

And that's what Captain Drewell says they are trying to decipher. "What we're trying to determine is if we notified them of the detainer or if there's something else on the other end."

But Drewell says they will get to the bottom of it. Meantime, Willard is back behind bars, serving his time for the domestic assault. The Sheriff's Department will continue to cypher through the paper trail on this inmate.

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