Data entry mistake causes accidental release of suspected murderer

July 16, 2013

In the growing digital age, the mountains of data that companies have access to is on the rise. While that provides more information at businesses’ fingertips, it also increases the need for that data to be accurate.

In Maryland, a data entry error lead to the accidental release of a murder suspect. According to an article from Bucks County Courier Times, Dale Wakefield, 21, is the leading suspect in the stabbing death of 71-year-old George Mohr on July 3. Last week he was accidentally released from prison but was apprehended a few hours later.

“The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services regrets the data-entry issue that led to the mistaken release of Dale Wakefield,” acting spokeswoman Erin Julius told the news source. “Complications arose due to the nature of out-of-state warrants and detainers.”

While there is no official word other than the statement as to what happened and an internal investigation is being planned, the news source was able to find some additional information. It appears that Maryland District Court Judge C. Yvonne Holt-Stone ordered Wakefield’s release Wednesday morning. That step is fine, but there was also an order in place that if any other charges were filed against Wakefield, he was to be held in jail. Several other charges were on the books from other counties, and it should have negated the original release.

While many businesses do not face as extreme an outcome if there is a data entry error in their data processes, this incident does show that a small oversight involving data can have large repercussions. This is why businesses should partner with a data entry service to ensure proper failsafe processes are in place.

Tab Service Company is a Chicago based company with over 53 years of experience as a data processing service provider.  We provide business with outsourcing solutions for document scanning services, data entry services and mailing/lettershop services.  As a SOC2-approved organization, we apply industry-best practices to our approach with clients.