Jackson Co. Jail mistakenly releases wrong inmate

Medford, Ore. —  A woman was mistakenly released from Jackson County Jail over the weekend. When jail staff realized what happened, local law enforcement teamed up to re-arrest the inmate. NBC5 News spoke with Sheriff Nathan Sickler Wednesday. He said he and his team are owning up to it.  The inmate’s release was a mistake.

“Released an individual from jail – thought it was one person, turned out to be another,” Sheriff Sickler said.

According to the sheriff’s office, jail staff noticed a few hours later what happened.

“We worked over the past couple of days to get that person back in custody,” Sheriff Sickler said.

The inmate mistakenly released was 27-year-old Emily Ashton Fasel. She was held at the jail for chronic failure-to-appear offenses, and was found at a Grants Pass hotel Tuesday evening.

“We never believed that the public was in any risk anymore than anyone else being out of jail,” Sheriff Sickler said.

With as much security as the Jackson County Jail offers, it’s leaving many asking – how?

“We release a lot of people each year, that’s one thing we do a lot unfortunately because of the size of the jail,” Sheriff Sickler said.

Sheriff Sickler said neither he or his staff are making excuses, nor are they trying to minimize the situation.

“35,000 people in the last 2.5 years. This happened once. We’re all humans, we make mistakes. I take responsibility, it’s my agency,” Sheriff Sickler said.

He says he can’t promise this won’t happen again., but they are trying.

“I can tell you that we strive to do the right thing all the time and sometimes, we’re all imperfect at different times. We’re going to do our best and hopefully they can trust that that’s what we’ll follow through with,” Sheriff Sickler said.

There is an ongoing internal investigation at the jail to get into the specifics of what led to the mistake. Fasel is – once again – lodged at the Jackson County Jail, as of Wednesday night. Her additional charges are pending.

NBC5 News reporter, weather forecaster, anchor Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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