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Inmate charged with escaping from Adams County jail claims he was told to leave

Posted at 5:19 PM, Apr 11, 2017

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — An inmate who walked out of the Adams County Detention Facility Friday said he thought he was being released early due to jail overcrowding, saying it isn't his fault guards instructed him to leave.

Shannon Owens, 31, was taken into custody on Sunday at a motel in the area of East 88th Avenue and I-76 around 8 a.m..

On Tuesday, he sat down with Denver7's Molly Hendrickson to describe the mix-up he said he's now become a victim of.

"All I did was follow the directions I was given," Owens said. "It's their fault."

Owens said he was detoxing from drugs and alcohol when a guard approached him and told him to pack up his stuff. At the time, he was serving the first of a five day parole violation sentence.

"I thought I was being released early or whatever, it was overcrowded for whatever reason.  Next thing you know, I'm all on the news as some escaped crazed guy," Owens said.

Owens said he showed his ID to three separate people and even gave authorities his social security number before they released him. 

Owens said throughout the entire process, authorities called him by name, showing in his opinion they knew what they were doing.

The inmate said despite Adams County's report they caught him after an "exhaustive search" on Sunday, he actually turned himself in.

"I tried to do the right thing after the fact," Owens said.

Adams County declined an on-camera interview but said in a press release the mistake was likely due to human error. They have launched an internal investigation.

Owens will be held at the Adams County Detention Facility on his parole violation and an additional charge of escape. 

"I don't feel like I should have to do more time because of a mistake the county made," Owens said.


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