A man serving life in prison for armed robbery and carjacking with gang enhancements was recaptured Thursday afternoon following being accidentally released from the Sacramento County Main Jail Thursday Night.
Shaquile Lash, a gang member from San Joaquin County, was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 at the age of 19 for carjacking, robbery in the second degree with gang and weapon enhancements, committing a street gang act in commission of a felony, and vehicle theft. After being sent to state prison, Lash then allegedly became one of many prisoners who were part of the massive $31 billion defrauding of the Employment Development Department (EDD) in 2020 and 2021, which was caused by a massive number of unemployment claims due the COVID-19 pandemic
Facing these new charges, Lash and five others were sent down from Tehachapi State Prison to Sacramento County Jail earlier this week. On Wednesday, under circumstances still being investigated, Lash was granted release from jail. By the time officials realized what happened, Lash was already long gone. After a search, Lash was found 13 hours later in Stockton. While Lash had not committed any new crimes during his release, he had still not told any prison officials of anything wrong with him being released, as he wasn’t even scheduled for a parole hearing until at least 2035.
As of Thursday evening, Lash is back in prison at California State Prison, Solano, with authorities currently looking into whether it was human or technological error that led to the prisoners release Wednesday night.
“This is a very unsettling sort of incident, although it appeared Lash didn’t commit any more crimes before he was rearrested in Stockton,” said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sergeant Rod Grassmann on Thursday.
However, the incident has since sparked recurring questions about law enforcement funding and jailing issues, with many noting that more funding and a better focus on the prison system in the state could have prevented such an incident from occurring.
“Law enforcement groups all over the state have seen budgets go down with a reduction of prison sentences in the last few years,” Michael Patton, a former prison guard turned security consultant in the San Joaquin Valley told the Globe on Thursday. “If this is because of a mix up or something, by person or computer, we need to look at the reasons why. When our funding situation was better and closing prisons wasn’t on anyones minds back in the day, this sort of thing would never happen. Jails always had a system of checking, especially if those prisoners were in for life. And the prisons also had many checks. With less funding and stretched resources, things like this may happen, and we need to make sure that it wasn’t a factor. Because if it was, that needs to be corrected.”
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