Suspect in Roan Mountain slaying mistakenly released for transport to another jail
One of two teenagers charged with killing a Roan Mountain man used another inmate’s name to briefly gain his release from the Carter County Detention Center Monday, Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes confirmed.
Anthony Lacy, 18, was turned over to a transport officer to be taken to another jail, but was soon returned to the local lockup.
Mathes said Lacy was released from the detention center after posing as another inmate who was being released, but added Lacy was quickly returned to the facility.
“He was never out of custody. He has not escaped,” Mathes said. “The public was never in any danger.”
Mathes said the mistake happened after inmates were returned from court and corrections officers were preparing to release some inmates from custody. Lacy posed as an inmate who was being released, Mathes said, was subsequently released from the Carter County Detention Center and handed over to a transport officer to be taken to another local detention center.
“He literally signed documents as someone else,” Mathes said. “He tried to take on the identity of someone else. The employee did not catch it at that time.”
Once the mistake was detected, Lacy was returned to the Carter County Detention Center. Mathes repeated there was never a point in time that Lacy was out of the custody of an officer.
“It was caught, just not initially like it should have been,” he said.
While the incident began because Lacy “tried to take on another person’s identity,” Mathes said his department is looking into how Lacy was processed out of the facility without his impersonation being detected.
“There is an internal investigation ongoing at this time,” Mathes said. “It should be completed and on my desk at any time. Disciplinary action will be taken.”
Mathes also addressed rumors that Lacy and his co-defendant in the homicide case, 19-year-old Demetrice Cordell, had been released on bond. Mathes said both Lacy and Cordell are still in the Carter County Detention Center. held under bonds of $210,000.
The Sheriff said he has spoken with a number of people in the Roan Mountain community who have expressed concerns over safety should Lacy and Cordell be released on bond.
“I have instructed the jail and Capt. (Thomas) Smith that if they attempt to make bond I want an immediate press release and the media notified,” Mathes said. “I know the people of Carter County, especially those in the Roan Mountain community, are very concerned about these inmates being released.”
Mathes said those who have concerns over the release of Lacy and Cordell, or any other inmate of the Carter County Detention Center, can use the Victim Information and Notification Everyday, or VINE, program to register to receive alerts when an inmate is released.
“We now have that program and we encourage people to register,” Mathes said.
The VINE program allows a person to register anonymously to receive updates on the custody status of the offender through automated phone calls, text messages, e-mails or through the program’s mobile app available for smart phones.
Anyone wanting to register to receive an alert for an inmate held in the Carter County Detention Center can visit the Sheriff’s Department’s website at www.sheriff.cc and click on the link to view the list of current inmates. The user can then search for the name of the inmate and when their entry on the website is opened, a box will appear at the top of the page that says “External Applications” with a link below it that says “Victim Notification.” Click on the link for victim notification and the user will then be taken to the VINE Link website, which will show the name and information of the inmate. Under the heading “Register for Notification” appear the options “phone,” “email” and “TTY Teletypewriter.” Select the preferred method, or methods, of notification and click continue. The website then asks the user to complete the registration form and click the button that says “register.”
All registrations are confidential.
Those with a smart phone can also download the VINE Mobile App for iPhone through the App Store or for Android based phones through the Google Play store.