The Investigators: Work release inmates possibly out committing crimes

The Investigators: Work release inmates possibly out committing crimes
Emanuel Jones (Source: WBRSO)
Emanuel Jones (Source: WBRSO)
Angelina Hooks (Source: Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers)
Angelina Hooks (Source: Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers)

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A bizarre twist of fate may have spared a man's life and insured a tougher life for three inmates. It also has opened a ton of questions.

The Baton Rouge Police Department issued an arrest warrant that said three people who allegedly helped a woman in robbing a man were actually work release inmates who may have walked off the job, but the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office said they have no records of any inmates missing.

It was November 8 around 1:50 a.m. in the parking lot of the Radisson Hotel on South Acadian Thruway. BRPD said Angelina Hooks was staying the weekend at the Radisson with a man, whom she allegedly lured outside the hotel by his car.

According to a police report, the victim told officers a man by the name of Emanuel Jones "came out of nowhere with a gun and demanded that he give him his property," and that he then "punched him about the torso and then struck him in the face with the handgun." The report continued to say Jones "made him get into the trunk of his own vehicle " and the victim said he heard Jones and someone else talking about "finding a place to go and kill him."

Fortunately for that victim, another vehicle crashed into the back of the car popping open the trunk and the victim was able to get away. The victim was later able to identify Jones in a line-up, another suspect by the name of Xavier Criss and a third person whose name has not been released yet.

BRPD issued a warrant Tuesday for Jones' arrest. In it, there was information that the three picked out in the lineup are in the work release program at the West Baton Rouge Parish prison, meaning all three should have been in custody when the crime allegedly happened.

"Our initial investigation has shown that the inmates were accounted for at the time of this crime," said Col. Richie Johnson with WBRSO.

Col. Johnson said head counts are done every two hours and done not by computers, but by actual people where guards have to physically touch an inmate and account for them.

Despite the police report saying all three inmates may have escaped and committed the crime, Col. Johnson now said, "All three inmates that we're discussing, they're all in custody but you know, the documentation showed they were in custody that night also, so it's very early on in the investigation."

He said WBRSO and BRPD have launched criminal investigations into the matter. WBRSO is looking into their own.

"Do we have some issue with things going on between counts that we're not aware of or was the count properly conducted as the paperwork says it was?"

If someone dropped the ball, Col. Johnson said, "Somebody's got problems. If we have an internal issue, we will deal with it."

All three men were state inmates. Jones would have been released January 28, 2016. Now though, he's back behind bars full time and no longer on work release. Xavier Criss was picked up in Bossier Parish. Hooks turned herself into police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Louisiana Department of Corrections issued a statement:

"The Transitional Work Programs are operated by Sheriffs, or in some instances contracted companies, and they are responsible for the offenders in their custody. The employers also have responsibility for supervision of offenders while they are on the assigned job. At this point there is conflicting information about this case and we are still gathering information and details on this situation."

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