Texas prisoner captured without incident

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A Texas prisoner mistakenly released from the jail in September is back in custody after he was found having breakfast at a local shelter Thursday.

Willie Windom was arrested without incident around 8 a.m. at the Lighthouse Mission on Las Casillas Boulevard, according to Clovis police Lt. Jim Schoeffel.

“A (citizen) walked in the front door of the police department and said ‘You know that guy in the newspaper? He’s over at the Lighthouse Mission,’” Schoeffel said, and within minutes, officers were on location and had Windom in custody. Windom’s release was announced Thursday in a Clovis News Journal story.

The 46-year-old man was released from the Curry County Adult Detention Center by mistake Sept. 29 when a case against him in the 9th Judicial District Court was dismissed.

Instead of being released, officials have said he should have been returned to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to complete a 12-year sentence on drug convictions.

Spokesman Jason Clark said TDCJ confirmed the arrest Thursday morning and expects Windom will be transported back to Texas in the near future.

“He’s been transported to the Curry County jail and is awaiting extradition,” Clark said.

TDCJ’s records and classification division discovered Tuesday during a routine audit that it had been a year since Windom was sent to Clovis to answer charges in a new case. As soon as the mistaken release was discovered, a warrant was issued, Clark said previously.

Interim detention center administrator Audrey Barriga said Wednesday jail administration was investigating to determine if Windom’s file at the time of his release contained paperwork ordering he be detained after the local court dismissed his case.

Barriga could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Lighthouse Mission Director Richard Gomez said he had seen Windom at the mission a couple of times recently for meals.

“He would just come in and eat,” Gomez said, explaining the mission serves breakfast and lunch daily to anyone in need of a meal.

“It went real good. The officers handled it very professionally,” Gomez said of Windom’s arrest.