Indianapolis Star

2 Deputies Suspended for Holding-Cell Mix-up

October 19, 2003
Two Marion County sheriff's deputies were suspended for mistakenly allowing an adult male inmate to be in the same holding cell as a 17-year-old female.

Deputy Richard Staples, whose job involves escorting prisoners from the jail to the courts, was suspended without pay for one day after he placed the female in a courtroom holding cell Oct. 9 without notifying other deputies, Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Phil Burton said Friday.

A few minutes after the female was placed in the cell, Deputy Hans Wlfing put the adult male in the same cell while the girl was behind a half-wall, Burton said. Wlfing was suspended for two days without pay for not thoroughly searching the cell.

Burton said the two prisoners were together for no more than five minutes.

"These are seasoned officers, and an unfortunate decision was made by them," Burton said, leading to the suspensions determined by the sheriff and a major.