Former sheriff on inmate mistakenly released from Virginia prison: 'You can't be too careful'

'We all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,' C.T. Woody says
Posted at 4:13 PM, Jan 28, 2022

JARRATT, Va. — When former Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody heard an inmate from the Greensville Correctional Center was improperly released, he immediately thought "somebody dropped the ball."

Alonza Wilds was in prison because he was convicted of stabbing two teenage boys in 2018. He was sentenced too 11 years in prison, with all but four years and nine months suspended, according to the Winchester Star.

Wilds was set to be discharged from the stabbing charges, but according to a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections (DOC), he had a detainer for a federal probation violation involving drugs and should have been released to a federal officer. Instead, Wilds was released to his wife.

Alonza Wilds.jfif
Alonza Wilds

"Normal procedure is they have checks and balances, like what you should do when you're getting ready to release. Our records division has the authority to make sure that they double check to see if any other jurisdictions or agencies, if they are wanted from them," Woody said.

The DOC spokesperson said they are investigating what went wrong, but because of the mistake, Wilds made it to Ranson, West Virginia where police there arrested him for drug possession and obstruction of justice.

During the arrest, they realized he was wanted on a federal warrant.

Death Penalty-Virginia
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2010 file photo prison guards stand outside the entrance to the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va.

"Dangerous people are getting released out there, and they are committing other crimes when they should not have been released," Woody said.

Wilds is being held in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Woody hopes this can serve as a teachable moment.

"You can't be too careful, we all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, sometimes you get caught up in situations. I know what is going on inside and outside of the jail, everybody is busy, but you just have to be as cautious as possible," Woody said.

The DOC spokesperson said appropriate action will be taken once the exact cause of what happened is determined.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.