LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Darrell Dennis, 47, has a well-documented criminal history. Officials said he should have been behind bars instead of walking the streets of Little Rock the night police believe he killed 18-year-old Forrest Abrams.
"What happened is inexcusable, totally inexcusable," Governor Mike Beebe told THV 11. "When you've got a track record that should be taken into consideration and action should be taken. So, what I've told everyone is 'tell the truth, and if you have to point fingers at each other, that's fine', I'll be the arbiter of who I believe and who I don't believe."
"I mean how they did not have those records and see the predictability of this guy not ever showing up again is just astounding to me," said Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola. "This is a horrible tragedy. A young man has lost his life because of, what I think, is a dysfunction in the system in terms of our parole system and monitoring."
Rhonda Sharp, a spokesperson for the Department of Community Correction, says the D.C.C. released Dennis at the request of the Pulaski County jail.
"The D.C.C. did what it was supposed to do with that case," said Sharp. "Jail space was most likely needed, and I'm not speaking for the jail/ I would never presume to speak for the jail, but jail staff asked us to release the hold, so we did."
But, Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay said his office, which oversees the jail, would never release a parolee without a request from the D.C.C.
"Do I look like somebody that's stupid enough to turn somebody like that out on the street of Pulaski County?" asked Holladay. "My job is to keep those people locked up. I don't believe it's a matter of miscommunication. I believe that it's probably an attempt to divert the inquiry from them to us."
Sheriff Holladay added that while he does not appreciate the D.C.C. trying to blame his office for Dennis' release, he said his department will continue to work with and support the D.C.C. as it has in the past. Governor Beebe said his office is looking into this case and the D.C.C. will conduct its own investigation into this case as well.
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