BARBOURSVILLE, WV (WOWK) - An inmate facing multiple sexual abuse charges was mistakenly released from Western Regional Jail on Thursday. Donald Moore, 49, is now back in jail, but was released for about 25 hours last week because of a mix-up with paperwork.
According to Lawrence Messina, director of communications for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, Moore is behind bars for sexual offense charges in both Lincoln County and Cabell County.
Moore was arrested for the charges in June 2017. Later that month, according to Messina, Western Regional Jail received an order from a Cabell County magistrate that appeared to dismiss all pending Cabell County charges, so the jail believed only the Lincoln County charges remained.
However, in November 2017, Moore was indicted on the Cabell County charges and Judge Paul T. Farrell set his bail at $1 million. Messina says the the court reportedly faxed the judge's order to the jail, but the jail never received it and still has never found it.
Then last week, Moore posted bail for only the Lincoln County charges and was released around 6:55 p.m. on Thursday. Messina says the jail was informed of the mistake the next morning, when the Cabell County Clerk's Office contacted the jail about Moore's Cabell County charges. Once they realized the mistake, they called law enforcement and Moore was back behind bars Friday at 8 p.m.
According to Messina, all ten West Virginia jails are currently in the process of switching over to electronic record exchanges. Once the new system is implemented, courts and jails will email records to each other, rather than fax them.
Messina says the inmate's release was a rare incident, but believes the new electronic system will be much more effective.