New Mexico Jail Releases Inmate By Mistake

Jul 24, 2013

The San Juan County Detention Center's administrator says he's embarrassed that an inmate awaiting trial on charges stemming a fatal accident was mistakenly released.

Detention center administrator Tom Havel says he accepts responsibility for the July 15 release of 44-year-old Joe Gallegos.

Havel says jail staff thought charges had been dismissed.

Prosecutors did dismiss a drug charge against Gallegos but the Daily Times ( reports that court records indicate that Gallegos remains charged with vehicular homicide and multplie other crimes.

He is accused of running over a San Juan County woman on Oct. 24 while he was high on narcotics.

A lawyer for Gallegos says his client will surrender and that Gallegos was attending his mother's funeral. She died about the same time that Gallegos was released.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.