Inmate who left work detail should never have been selected, Sheriff's Office admits

David McFall pleaded guilty to felony robbery in March

By Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

ROANOKE, Va. - Roanoke County Sheriff Erc Orange says a member of his staff failed to follow policy when allowing David McFall to be a member of the Community Work Crew.

"Based upon the crime for which Mr. McFall was convicted and the length of sentence, we know that the staff member responsible for selection and placement failed to follow the guidance as provided in both d. and h. of the attachment," Orange wrote in an email. 

On Wednesday, McFall, 34, walked off at about 11:30 a.m. in the Hollins Road area near the county garage and was caught shortly before 2 p.m. just inside Roanoke city limits.

He was serving three years and two months in jail for robbery and will likely face more charges after yesterday.

Roanoke County police arrested McFall on October 25, 2018, in connection with an armed robbery at a Dollar General on Williamson Road.

Court records show McFall pleaded guilty to a felony robbery charge March 29 and was sentenced June 6.

He was serving his sentence at the Roanoke County/Salem Jail.

Orange says that as the investigation continues internally, a determination will be made as to the best course of action to be taken to remedy this current situation.  

Furthermore, he tells 10 News that anyone directly related to this incident will go through remedial training on all policies and procedures for work crew inmates.

Below is the full statement Orange sent to 10 News:

"I have attached the section of our policy that deals with the selection of members of the Community Work Crew. Based upon the crime for which Mr. McFall was convicted and the length of sentence, we know that the staff member responsible for selection and placement failed to follow the guidance as provided in both d. and h. of the attachment. Our agency utilizes Policies and Procedures to give best practice guidance and it is my expectation that all staff follow the guidance as set forth in our policy manuals. As our investigation continues internally a determination will be made as to the best course of action to be taken to remedy this current situation. All staff directly involved in the incident from 7-17-2019 will receive remedial training on the topic of inmate selection and supervision as related to our inmate workforce. Any further action that is taken as a result of this matter will be personnel related and as such will not be disclosed. I am confident in the fact that this incident arose from a singular lapse in judgment and that the appropriate steps are being taken to avoid such future incidents. I am also confident in the professionalism of my staff and the other public safety agencies throughout the valley, which was clearly demonstrated yesterday through the speed and efficiency with which the incident was resolved."

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