An inmate who was mistakenly released after receiving a 10-year-prison sentence turned himself back into authorities after less than 24 hours. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/THE FRESNO BEE McClatchy File photo
An inmate who was mistakenly released after receiving a 10-year-prison sentence turned himself back into authorities after less than 24 hours. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA/THE FRESNO BEE McClatchy File photo

Fort Worth

Child sex offender mistakenly freed from jail surrenders to authorities

September 20, 2017 11:52 PM

UPDATED September 21, 2017 04:40 PM

FORT WORTH

A man who had been convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault of a child in Johnson County was mistakenly released from Tarrant County jail on Tuesday.

But Shaun James, 26, turned himself into Johnson County officials on Wednesday, said David S. McClelland, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office chief of staff.

James was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison in Johnson County in August after being convicted on sexual assault of a child charges, but was transferred to Tarrant County to face additional charges, which included a driving while intoxicated charge, according to Tarrant County District Clerk records.

James was mistakenly released Tuesday after his Tarrant County cases were disposed of, McClelland said.

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“We have 1,000 coming in every day and a 1,000 who go out every day,” McClelland said. “One out of a thousand is still too many for us, but you’re still talking about one in a thousand. It was human error.”

McClelland said deputies are still trying to investigate to see what errors might have been made. The paperwork that would have caused James to be held was missing from his file, McClelland said.

WFAA news reported that the victim’s mother called law enforcement officials and told them James was a fugitive after she was alerted to his release by an app on her phone. James pleaded out his charges in Tarrant County, according to the WFAA story.

The mother said she is relieved that James is back behind bars, but she wants answers from officials and wonders whether James will face additional punishment for walking, the WFAA story said.

“I really am questioning how this happened, and will it happen again, and has it happened to other people?” she told a WFAA reporter. “I support the blue. I believe in our criminal justice system, but this has definitely been a failure all the way around.”

Tarrant County's 10 Most Wanted Criminals, September 13

Fort Worth Police and the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office are looking for these 10 fugitives. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call 817-469-8477.

Steve Wilson swilson@star-telegram.com

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3