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Courteous inmate returns to prison on his own

/ Source: The Associated Press

An inmate released by mistake by jail officials in Ohio arranged his own way back to the prison in Colorado where he still has two more years to serve. He even called to say he was on his way.

Stark County jailers let Ricky Lee Claycomb go on Tuesday after he was acquitted of a rape charge he had been brought to Ohio from Colorado to face. Jail officials apparently never saw the paperwork to return him to the prison.

“We don’t know exactly what happened,” Sheriff Tim Swanson said.

Claycomb, 37, called his mother in Henderson, Colo.

“He told them at the jail that he was supposed to be taken back to Colorado,” said his mother, Jill Claycomb. “He said they told him he was done in Canton and it was his problem to get back.”

She sent him money for a bus ticket. After the two-day trip to Colorado, Claycomb visited her long enough to have oatmeal and peaches for breakfast and pizza for lunch, and then his brother drove him to Colorado’s Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City.

“He was nice enough to call ahead,” said Katherine Sanguinetti, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Corrections. “I think he was afraid we would shoot him or something, but it wasn’t his fault Ohio let him go.”

Claycomb was serving time in Colorado for robbery, and was brought to Ohio to stand trial on a 1994 rape charge after a crime database indicated a DNA match.

However, Claycomb testified that he had consensual sex with the woman the day before the alleged assault, and jurors acquitted him.

Jill Claycomb said that soon after her telephone conversation with her son, Stark County authorities called to find out if she knew where he was.

“I told a detective what happened, that he was coming back to Colorado on his own,” she said. “He just said ‘Bless Ricky’s little heart.”’