Farmington inmate accidentally released

Posted at: 07/24/2013 6:44 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A man accused of hitting and killing a woman with a vehicle is out of jail. The problem is, he's not supposed to be.

For Joe Gallegos getting the "get out of jail free" card became a reality. 

"My understanding is, the guard walked in, he was lying on his bunk, and the guard says get your stuff, except he used a vulgar idiom, you're outta here and his response was 'what?'" said his attorney, Cosme Ripol.

According to the San Juan County detention center, Gallegos was accidentally released on July 15 due to a computer error. The jail has new software and the employees didn't read the entire order to drop only one of his charges.

After realizing the mistake was made, the detention center called his lawyer.

"My secretary said 'Oh my God, Joe Gallegos has been released and they want to know if you know where he's at or for us to call him and tell him to turn himself back in'," said Ripol.

Gallegos is accused of running over and killing 32-year-old Delandra Pioche in October 2012.

According to the police report, witnesses saw Gallegos hit Pioche at the intersection of Court and Main Street. Witnesses told police after he hit her, he didn't stop and they could see her being dragged underneath the car.

Gallegos' lawyer says he was awaiting trial later in August.

A statement sent to KOB Eyewitness News 4 by the detention center said the jail is using a new software system and even though employees have been trained on the new system, they aren't immune to mistakes.

The detention center says they will learn from this mistake to make sure it won't happen again.

A warrant has been issued for Gallegos' arrest.

Gallegos' lawyer told KOB Gallegos' mother died recently. He plans to turn himself in after the funeral.


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