Inmate pretends to be someone else to leave Fayette lockup
Two staff members were counseled, and a new policy was adopted at the Fayette County Prison because an inmate impersonated another to secure her release on bond, but no formal disciplinary action is planned, officials said.
Evelyn Grace Campbell, 29, of Uniontown is serving a three- to six-month sentence for retail theft, making her ineligible for bond. She stepped forward on June 6 when officers went to retrieve an inmate with a similar-sounding name, Maretta Ruth Gamble, 51, according to Warden Brian Miller.
Campbell kept up the ruse when she was taken to bail bondsman Mitch Mitchell, who was there to post Gamble's $500 bond, Miller said. Mitchell said he was suspicious because Campbell looked younger than Gamble, but Campbell told him she didn't have any identification and signed Gamble's name to the bond paperwork.
Uniontown police said Campbell turned herself in the next day. She is now charged with escape, identity theft and forgery.
On Thursday, Miller said that after an internal review, he found formal disciplinary action to be unwarranted.
“You really can't pinpoint it and say they actually made a mistake,” Miller said. “The lieutenant asked for this person. Control asked for this person. This person got sent down, and the girl played along with it.”
Dominick Carnicella, human resources director, said two staff members were counseled.
“We informed them their performance in that matter was not adequate and instructed them on how to perform more adequately,” Carnicella said. “The warden has established a more stringent checklist of items that need to be verified to ensure they are releasing the correct individual.”
Miller said the new policy includes a requirement that officers use photographs to identify inmates before they are released.
“We have a checklist now that they go down,” Miller said. “We check a photo. We check their name, their date of birth and we check their Social Security number and their charges.”
“Can you say it won't ever happen again?” Miller said. “I'd be lying to tell you that, because you never know. Those safeguards are in place to make sure it doesn't, but that doesn't make it foolproof.”
Sheriff Gary Brownfield, chairman of the prison board, was out of the office on Thursday and could not be reached for comment.
Campbell remains in the county jail, with her bond on the escape charge set at $50,000. In addition, she is awaiting a preliminary hearing on an unrelated charge of possession of drug paraphernalia filed by Uniontown police in April.
Gamble has since posted bond. She is awaiting trial, having waived her right to a preliminary hearing on charges of theft and receiving stolen property.
Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ceremony, parade mark start of 61st annual Fayette County Fair
- Additional charges filed in Connellsville vandalism case
- Woman accused of stabbing man at Fayette housing complex
- Fayette County doctor expects to go to prison in prescription scheme
- Lower Tyrone man’s appeal on sewage permit denied, but supervisors sympathetic
- 3 taken into custody after shots fired at East Park in Connellsville
- Connellsville Lions Club concert series continues through Sept. 6
- Connellsville Circles program fights poverty
- Fayette man gets house arrest in prescription painkiller scheme
- Connellsville’s Porter Theater to present ‘Seven Brides’
- Fair weather expected for opening of Fayette County Fair