Violent armed robber wrongly released from Hampton City Jail

Posted at 9:26 PM, Dec 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-08 16:10:26-05

Hampton, Va. - According to Commonwealth's Attorneys, 18-year-old Jamie Simms should still be locked up, but  is free after the Hampton Sheriff's Department released him just 11 days into a 3 year sentence.

Simms was only 14-years-old when he walked into Artis Barber Shop on Pembroke Avenue the night of May 22nd, 2008, and robbed one of the workers at gunpoint.

A Hampton Circuit court judge put him in juvenile detention until he turned 18.

He was then supposed to serve a 3-year sentence as an adult in the state prison system, but according to court documents uncovered by NewsChannel 3, the teen caused a lot of problems while incarcerated.

Simms committed 75 offenses in just two years, ranging from fights to serious sexual misconduct.

His parole officer even sent a letter to the Clerk of Courts on September 20th, which says "these offenses are becoming problematic... the staff is unable to remain safe and keep other residents safe as well."

They asked for an early review of his case, so he could be moved out of juvenile custody and start to serve out his adult sentence.

November 19th, Simms appears for the last time in Hampton Circuit Court.

That's when a judge ordered him into Department of Corrections custody, and he was  booked into the Hampton City Jail.

What happened from there, though, is where the mystery lies.

11 days later, on November 30th, an online inmate database shows two entries for Jamie Simms; one by the Virginia Department of Corrections, saying he was out of custody after a general release and the other was from the Hampton City Jail saying he was out of custody on parole.

NewsChannel 3 checked with the State Parole Board, and they confirm that Simms never was paroled.

Hampton Commonwealth's Attorneys also confirmed that the judge's criminal order to lock him up for three years has not been changed.

On top of that, no warrants for his re-arrest have been issued by the magistrate.

It seems no one was looking for Jamie Simms, until NewsChannel 3 came calling.

After we pressed the Hampton Sheriff's Department, they told us that a November 30th notification from the Department of Corrections released Simms from their custody and ordered him to report to Hampton Probation and Parole.

They did not give any of these documents to NewsChannel 3, so we contacted the Department of Corrections to ask about what happened, and they have yet to call us back.