One jail ‘escapee’ turns himself in

After apparently learning of his wanted status through media reports, one of the Kitsap County Jail inmates mistakenly released earlier this month turned himself this week, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

Spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said that Michael Zachary Casterline, 24, turned himself over to Sheriff’s deputies shortly before 4 p.m. Wednesday after being on the loose for two weeks.

Wilson said Casterline, who was in custody on second-degree theft and failure to appear charges, and another jail inmate were “inadvertently” released Sept. 4 by corrections officers who intended to release inmates with the same last names.

Wilson said that Casterline was released instead of George Casterline, a 33-year-old fellow inmate scheduled for release.

“It was a very busy day, with a lot of intakes, and there was a step in the protocol, a verification check, that was not conducted,” Wilson said, explaining that the mistake was “noticed pretty quickly.”

To prevent another similar mistake, Wilson said “additional measures are now in place,” but for security reasons he could not go into detail about what those were.

When asked how many times such releases had happened in the past, Wilson said, “I’m sure it has happened, but it has been quite a while,” explaining that no one in his office had an immediate recollection of prior instance.

If Casterline had not turned himself in, Wilson said his office was “on his trail and we would have gotten him anyway.”

The defendant is now in custody on a no-bail hold, and faces an additional charge of first-degree escape.

The other inmate released that day was Melinda Ann Hill, 34, a former resident of Bremerton who is now listed as a transient, Wilson said.

“She’s still outstanding, but we’ll catch her eventually,” Wilson said Thursday.

Hill was in jail on charges of methamphetamine and heroin possession, and for failure to appear in court. Wilson said she was released accidentally instead of Lisa M. Hall, 36.

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