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Some longtime inmates of the Douglas County Jail who are no longer there
At any given time there are at least a dozen inmates who’ve been in custody of the county jail more than a year, according to information I’ve obtained this year from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. But within that list — with the exception of a few inmates at the top — there is turnover.
I first requested the list of the jail’s dozen longest inmates in custody at the beginning of 2018. At least six of those on the list as of Jan. 5 have since been released from the jail.
As you saw in Sunday’s story detailing cases of the five longest inmates as of this month, most of the jail’s longest residents have a compilation of misdemeanor and lower-level felony cases — they’re not folks you’ve seen in the newspaper before.
I’ve gotten some reader requests for more information about longtime inmates beyond the top five. Deciphering case files complicated enough to cause these lengthy jail stays takes a lot of time. However, there are a few inmates who recently stayed over a year whom I can tell you about quickly, because they were charged with high-stakes felonies we previously covered in the newspaper.
These three were among six of the top-12 longest inmates in January who have since been released:
Ronald E. Throne, 32
Booked: May 30, 2016
Released: Jan. 9, 2018 — to prison, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records.
Throne is a persistent sexual offender, having been convicted last year in his second child molestation case. Following his arrest in the new case he remained jailed on $300,000 bond throughout the court proceedings — which included the full process from a preliminary hearing to a jury trial, and ultimately, his sentencing to more than 26 years in prison. He had a total of three appointed attorneys along the way.
In November 2017 a jury convicted Throne of multiple sex crimes against a 15-year-old girl in Lawrence, and he was sentenced in December 2017. His previous sex-offense conviction was in 2007 in Crawford County, where he victimized an 11-year-old in 2006, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation offender registry.
Tracy D. Releford, 51
Booked: Aug. 16, 2016
Released: March 2, 2018 — to prison in Missouri, where he was wanted for an alleged parole violation, according to Missouri Department of Corrections officials.
Releford was jailed in Douglas County more than a year and a half for what began as an aggravated human-trafficking case involving a teen, took a lengthy midcase timeout while a portion of the case was reviewed by the Kansas Court of Appeals, and was ultimately dismissed altogether.
The appeals court agreed with district court in throwing out the aggravated human-trafficking charge, and prosecutors tried to continue the case on the remaining charges but when a witness didn’t show up for Releford’s preliminary hearing in the case, the judge threw out the remaining charges.
Releford had previously been incarcerated in Missouri from the early 1990s until early 2016, when he was released on parole. He was convicted of murdering a man in 1991 in Kansas City, Mo., initially charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting but pleaded down to second-degree murder, according to Jackson County (Mo.) Circuit Court documents. Releford remains in prison in Missouri.
Jaered A. Long, 19
Booked: Nov. 1, 2016
Released: March 22, 2018 — to prison, according to KDOC records.
On top of being a first-degree murder case, Long’s case took several unusual turns before he ultimately was sentenced to prison — more than 48 years — in February.
Long was 16 when he was arrested, shortly after his grandmother Deborah Bretthauer, 67, was found dead — stabbed dozens of times with a bread knife — on Dec. 28, 2015, in her apartment in the 1200 block of George Court.
Initially, Long was charged as a juvenile with first-degree murder. Prosecutors filed a motion to try him as an adult in the case, and in October 2016 the judge agreed. In April 2017 he pleaded no contest and was convicted of second-degree murder as well as two felony counts of battery on law enforcement officers. In June 2017, when Long was supposed to be sentenced, his attorneys withdrew and he was appointed a new one. In February 2018, through his new attorney, Long asked to withdraw his earlier plea, but the judge denied his request and sentenced him.
— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.