County jail inmate makes a run for freedom, walks back in later

Published 9:38 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

An inmate decided to flee from the booking area of the Warren County Jail Wednesday afternoon mere minutes before he would have been free to go on a $1,500 bond.

Jamal Smith, 26, was in the process of bonding out on a charge of uttering a forgery following his initial appearance in city court when he ran out through the front door. 

“He has already signed his bond. He signed his obligation to return for court, the bail bondsman has the paper in hand and they are waiting in line for the sergeant to approve the bond and [Smith] would be free to go,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

While Smith was waiting in line, he received a call from his probation officer asking Smith to wait to talk to him before leaving, Pace said, and soon after Smith fled from the building.

“It is just stupid,” Pace said. “The bond was already filled out and signed. All he was waiting on was the sergeant to sign off on it and he would have been free to go anyways. I can only assume that when his probation officer said he wanted to talk to him, he just panicked and left.”

Smith turned himself in around 6:30 Thursday morning and has been booked back into the jail on the original charge.

“When he ran out, the bail bonding company just didn’t turn the bond in,” Pace said. “They didn’t want to be responsible for him at that point because of his behavior.”

Smith does not currently face additional charges, but Pace said it will be up to the district attorney to make that decision.

“We will present all this to the district attorney for him to review,” Pace said. “The fact that he had already signed his bond and the bonding company had bond in hand would be a mitigating factor. It will all be presented to the district attorney to see if it would be an additional charge.”