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Inmate’s accidental ‘vacation’ ends

A Hampton man mistakenly released from jail is now facing a charge after police say he failed to turn himself back into custody.
After more than 100 days of freedom, Ronnie Jay King, 54, 315 Rittertown Road, Hampton, was arrested Monday by Carter County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Thomas Smith on a warrant charging him with escape/attempted escape.
According to the warrant for King’s arrest, obtained by CCSD Deputy Mark McClain, King was released from the Carter County Detention Center by mistake on June 4 at 11:01 a.m.
“He had a pending case in Juvenile Court for which he had not made a $2,000 cash bond,” McClain said in the warrant.
McClain said, after the mistaken release was detected, he contacted King by telephone at 11:45 a.m., informed King of the mistake and advised him to report back to the detention center immediately.
According to McClain’s report, King told the officer he was on his way to Kingsport and would turn around and report back in.
When King hadn’t returned to the detention center by 1:30 p.m., McClain tried contacting him by phone. There was no answer.
McClain said he then contacted the person who King listed as his emergency contact. That individual said he had “just talked to Ronnie, who told him he was ‘on his way to the jailhouse.’”
On June 26, when King still hadn’t reported back to the detention center, McClain obtained a warrant for his arrest.
King is being held in the Carter County Detention Center on a bond of $5,000 on the escape/attempted escape charge in addition to the $2,000 cash bond on the original pending Juvenile Court case.