BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - An internal investigation at the Brevard County Sheriff's Office reveals a series of mistakes that led to the murder of a local deputy.
According to a 38-page report, six people inside the Brevard County jail made mistakes that allowed a violent criminal to go free, and eventually murder Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill.
The investigation shows nobody at the jail seemed to question when inmate Brandon Bradley claimed to be Keith Nelson. When Melbourne police arrested him in September 2011, Bradley used his brother's name, birthday and social security number to fool authorities into thinking he had a clean record.
Investigators said the six employees failed to do their jobs and allowed a violent criminal to slip out of jail.
Those held responsible for the mistakes include deputies Blaine Patterson, Carrie Newton, Brian Otto, and Loren Parrott, along with sergeants Clifford Ferguson and Darryl McCullough.
Investigators said the mistakes include a series of paperwork and documentation failures.
Months after Bradley's Oct. 2, 2011 release from jail, authorities said he shot and killed Pill.
According to the report, as inmates go into and leave the jail, they are fingerprinted more than once. Those fingerprints would have shown Bradley's true identity and his background.
Booking technicians April Hunter and Lisa Welliver were not punished. They were supposed to have seen a criminal alert that called Bradley a "Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern," but investigators could never prove Hunter and Welliver received the message.
Five days after Bradley left jail, Melbourne police said they figured out the identity mistake and called the jail to verify his identity through databases. However, after properly identifying Nelson as Bradley, the report states several jail officials never did anything about it.
Jail workers have since gone through several rounds of training to prevent future mistakes.
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