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Inmate transfer questioned
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
A Jefferson County judge called the transfer of an inmate from a state prison to a county jail secretive, appalling, disturbing and not right. State District Judge John Stevens says he'll see to it that officials and the inmate in question are held accountable.
"I'm sure those officials are going to be held accountable,
I'm gonna see to it. Then also, I'm going to make sure that, I'm gonna do
whatever I can to make sure that all that time that was spent outside of prison
in Sabine County Jail or wherever he was, will not be credited to his sentence,
Judge Stevens said. That's not fair, that's not right, that's not what this
courts order stated," Stevens said.
State District Court Judge John Stevens said inmates can be transferred from prison to jail if they are prosecuted for a case or called as a witness. But he called the circumstances surrounding the transfer highly suspicious. A bench warrant signed the Sabine County sheriff in June directed for the transfer of Derek McBride to the Sabine County jail as a trustee. Judge Stevens said doing time that way may be easier than doing it in a prison.
In March, Judge Stevens sentenced McBride to eight years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Amber Roussel. Her husband was also hurt in a collision on Interstate-10 near Pine St. in Beaumont.
A bench warrant out of Sabine County in June authorized the transfer of McBride to a county jail.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said McBride wasn't returned to a state prison until about four months later, Oct. 22.
Judge Stevens is upset his court didn't know about the transfer for months. He said the Sabine County sheriff should not have been involved in the case.
"Hopefully this sort of thing will not happen again and people in this county and in this state can be insured that those sentences are gonna be served as we all expect them to be, not side stepped because of good ole boys, buddy-buddy deals. That's just plain not fair, its not right," he said.
KFDM left messages with the Sabine County Sheriff. He did not return the calls.
The spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said the agency has referred the case of the Office of the Inspector General. The office will look into whether there were any violations of the law.