Terrell Gray: Inmate walked out of LMDC pretending to be someone else

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:43 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 11:35 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An inmate at the Department of Corrections in downtown Louisville has escaped, WAVE 3 News has learned.

Terrell Gray escaped from custody on Friday, just a day after he was booked into the jail.

According to a complaint from Jefferson District Court, Gray “used the identity of another inmate to be released.”

The report also said Gray “wore the armband of another inmate, and answered the questions related to the identity of the other inmate to be released.”

“We can’t do that, because, this was not an inmate who needed to be released,” said Tracy Dotson, spokesman for the Department of Corrections FOP 77. “We are dealing with a lot of overworked staff, a lot of short staffing. It’s so bad, leadership is calling people at home to come in on their off days. There is no excuse for bad security in a jail, but if there is going to be one, it’s going to be staffing.”

Dotson said inmates recognize that corrections officers are overworked, so slipping by Corrections Officers by switching ID armbands isn’t uncommon.

“I’m worried about (Gray’s) potential to cause further harm when he shouldn’t,” Dotson said. “This is somebody who needed to be there until he received a fair trial.”

Gray was being held on multiple counts of several charges, including a probation violation, fleeing and evading, persistent felony possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving, burglary, wanton endangerment and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, among others. He’s accused of shooting at an LMPD cruiser in Shively recently.

Dotson said the only way to fix the issues is to hire more corrections officers.

”The leadership at the department has to address this,” he said. “The mayor has to address this. I don’t care if he has a year left. He has to address this issue because these things are going to happen more if he doesn’t.”

When identity armbands are switched, the inmate who is supposed to get out of jail still does.

Dotson said the jail is in crisis mode trying to recruit employees. In 2021, 21 recruits were brought on as corrections officers, but LMDC lost 31, losing a combined 115 years of experience in the first six months of 2021, including top-ranking officers. Three were sergeants.

Another eight corrections officers are planning to retire on Aug. 1, which amounts to 160 years of experience.

In 2020, 62 corrections officers left, and 58 the year before.

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