D.O.C. apologizes for Stanley prison breakdown - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

D.O.C. apologizes for Stanley prison breakdown

STANLEY (WQOW) - The Department of Corrections Secretary says they're sorry for the breakdown that saw two Stanley Prison inmates released with forged paperwork.

"I'm not saying it should have happened, don't get me wrong this was a mistake, a HUGE mistake that these individuals were allowed out," says the Department of Corrections Secretary Rick Raemisch.

We know more about the who in this investigation but the how and where is still a major mystery. The Department of Corrections held a press conference today in Stanley, and this is the first time we've heard from some key players in the investigation since the story surfaced a few weeks ago.

The D.O.C. talked about the three inmates involved.

That third inmate was finally identified today.  Henry Spencer, in prison for armed robbery, had forged documents that almost allowed him to walk out the door, just like the other two inmates did.  The D.O.C. uncovered that plot in time, and Spencer never made it out.  Speaking of those other two inmates, Jimmy Baldwin and Eddie Evans, the D.O.C. believes they were cell mates at one time.

Jimmy Baldwin, a convicted killer, was wrongly released on January 19th from the Stanley Prison.  He was taken to Eau Claire where he boarded a bus to Milwaukee.

"He was then put under supervision by community corrections in the city of Milwaukee.  A few days later he had an electronic monitoring bracelet put on him and he stayed under supervision," says Raemisch.

A second inmate, Eddie Evans was released two days later.  He was serving time for armed robbery.  He was scheduled to be released that day, but he had fake documents that shortened his length of supervision and eliminated time he was supposed to serve in Louisiana.  The Department of Corrections says this isn't the first time Evans has walked away from a prison.

"The Utah escape was, he was on a road work crew and discovered that his mother had died and he left presumably to go to his mothers funeral.  The Kettle Moraine Institution, he had been taken out for an eye appointment or something of that nature and had runaway," says Raemisch.

While the two men were out, authorities say the D.O.C. was tipped off by the FBI of the false documents.  This was brought to the attention of the Chippewa County District Attorney's office who verified the tip.  Both inmates were then taken back into custody the next day.

"Safe in the sense that in the sense that we had monitors on them and if information didn't get out via the press that we were after these individuals we could safely pick them up," says the Department of Corrections secretary.

After it learned what happened - the doc looked into other release papers and discovered a third inmate had false documents changing his sentence.  Henry Spencer - a convicted armed robber - was supposed to be released February second.

The D.O.C. isn't saying where the documents originated, but says there is a relationship between the inmates, they believe two of them were cell mates, and that they had help from the outside.

"We do believe there was outside help," said Stanley Chief of Police Roy Fredrickson.

"How many people are we talking about," one reporter questioned.

"I am not at liberty to discuss that at this point," said Chief Frederickson.

"Are we talking about one or two or three," questioned a reporter.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss it because of the investigation right now," Frederickson responded.

The Stanley Police Department, with the help of the Department of Justice, continues to investigate where the documents came from.

The three inmates are all behind bars. Baldwin is at the Jackson Correctional Institute, Evans is at the Dane county jail, and Spencer, who we just learned about today is still in Stanley.

So far no charges have been filed.  To prevent this from happening again, the prison is now calling each county to verify whenever a sentence modification is made.

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