UPDATE | Jailer: Guard fired after accidental release, additional inmate charged

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CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 2/15/19 @ 4 p.m.
A guard has been fired from the Boyd County Detention Center after an investigation into the accidental release of an inmate Tuesday.

Boyd County Jailer Bill Hensley says the internal investigation revealed the employee did not follow proper release protocol, which led to the release of James Brewer.

In addition to the guard being fired, Hensley says the inmate who was supposed to be released has been charged for the incident.

Todd Anthony Lesniak, 35, of Ashland, is charged with facilitation and conspiracy to escape. Hensley says Lesniak gave Brewer his inmate identification bracelet which was the only part of the check out process that was followed.

Hensley says had the guard followed protocol that is in place, the swap would have been caught and the release would have never happened.

The guard, whose name is not being released, is not facing any charges.

Hensley says he has been in talks with the county fiscal court to approve new equipment that would better fool proof the check out process and prevent any further “human error.”



UPDATE 2/12/19 @ 2:15 p.m.
Jail officials say human error led to the wrongful release of an inmate at the Boyd County Detention Center.

Staff released James Brewer, 31, of Ashland, Tuesday morning. He is now back in custody.

According to jail officials, Brewer used another inmate's identity to get out. He assumed the identity of an inmate who had served out his time for court fees and was scheduled to be released any time after midnight Tuesday.

That inmate (whose identity was used) was in jail on charges of fraudulent use of a credit card, theft of identity, and theft of property delivered by mistake.

Brewer was in jail on charges of fraudulent use of a credit card, giving an officer false identifying information, resisting arrest, and third-degree assault on a police officer.

Jail officials say a detention center employee made an error and let Brewer out just after 5 a.m. Tuesday after he identified himself as the other inmate who was scheduled for release.

About 15 minutes after the mistake, the jail employees realized what happened. Officials say they notified Boyd County 911 to inform law enforcement.

Catlettsburg Police, the Boyd County Sheriff's Office, and Ashland Police responded.

Boyd County Detention Center Lt. Guzman saw Brewer walking in the 4500 block of Winchester Avenue. The lieutenant ran after Brewer, but the suspect escaped in the woods.

Boyd County Emergency Services brought tracking canines to assist officers in the search. At about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, investigators found Brewer hiding under a crawl space at a home in the 500 block of Gartrell Street. Ashland Police officers arrested him.

In addition to his previous charges, Brewer is now charged with second-degree escape.

Jail officials say they are conducting a "comprehensive" internal investigation.

This is at least the third inmate to be wrongfully released by the embattled jail since July 2018, however, this is the first major issue since Hensley took over the jail in December.

ORIGINAL STORY 2/12/19
An inmate is back in custody after jail officials say staff wrongfully released him Tuesday morning.

Boyd County Jailer Bill Hensley tells WSAZ staff at the detention center released James Brewer, 31, of Ashland.

Brewer is serving time for fraudulent use of a credit card and assault on an officer. He now faces an escape charge.

Hensley says as soon as he was notified about the release, he contacted local authorities who helped bring Brewer back into custody within a couple hours.

This is at least the third inmate to be wrongfully released by the embattled jail since July 2018, however, this is the first major issue since Hensley took over the jail in December.

Hensley says more information will be released later Tuesday.