HICKMAN, Ky. — Officials released a prisoner from a state facility after receiving a phony fax that ordered the man be freed, and didn’t catch the mistake for nearly two weeks.
Timothy Rouse, 19, is charged with beating an elderly western Kentucky man and was at the Kentucky Correctional & Psychiatric Center in La Grange for a mental evaluation. He was released from that facility on April 6 after officials received the fake court order.
It contained grammatical errors, was not typed on letterhead and was faxed from a local grocery store. The fax falsely claimed that the Kentucky Supreme Court “demanded” Rouse be released.
Lexington police arrested Rouse at his mother’s home Thursday evening.
“It’s outrageous that it happened,” Fulton County Attorney Rick Major said. “I’m just glad nobody got hurt because he’s dangerous.”
Police are still investigating who faxed it.
Attorney Carlos Moran, who is representing Rouse, declined to comment.
Prison officials did not notice that the fax came from the grocery store because policies in place did not require checking the source of a faxed order, said the LaGrange facility’s director, Greg Taylor.
“It’s not part of a routine check, but certainly, in hindsight, that would perhaps have caused somebody to ask a question,” he said. He added that misspellings on orders are common.
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