COLORADO: The next time James Rynerson gets out of jail, it’s fair to say that he and his wife might have a bit of talking to do.
According to English newspaper The Independent, ate last month Rynerson, 38, thought his luck was in and he was out. An identity mix-up led to him being incorrectly freed from Mesa County Jail, Colorado, where he was being held while awaiting trial on menacing, disorderly conduct and trespass charges.
Perhaps understandably, Rynerson took advantage of being freed in error to go home to his wife.
Perhaps surprisingly – for Rynerson – she did not share his joy at his new-found freedom and instead drove him straight back to jail.
She had her husband back behind bars less than two hours after he was let out.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported that court documents have now revealed the chain of events that led to Rynerson being freed in error.
It began when he was temporarily joined in his cell by another inmate, Marvin March, 35.
March later moved out of Rynerson’s cell but the jail’s housing list was reportedly not immediately updated to reflect this. Which allegedly meant that when March was due for release, the warders went to Rynerson’s cell and took out the only person inside it: Rynerson.
It appears that jail staff did not check to see that they had got the man who should have been released: March.
The prison guards, it seems, only realised what had happened when March approached one of them and asked when he was going to be released.
Mesa County Sheriff’s Sergeant Henry Stoffel has said that jail staff failed to follow correct procedure by omitting to check Rynerson’s wristband and picture and that an investigation is underway to determine whether prison policy around the housing list needs to be updated.
It was not immediately clear whether Rynerson knew he was being freed in error and decided against informing jail staff of their mistake, or whether he thought he was the beneficiary of an unexpected but genuine reprieve.
It has, however, been reported that in addition to the accusations of menacing, disorderly conduct and trespass, Rynerson now faces charges of escape, forgery and criminal impersonation.
Sgt Stoffel praised Mrs Rynerson for doing the right thing.
Mr Rynerson’s feelings on the matter have yet to be revealed.