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DCC Blames Pulaski Jail for Release of Darrell Dennis

Blame is flying back and forth over the release of a parolee accused of killing a young man in Little Rock.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Blame is flying back and forth over the release of a parolee accused of killing a young man in Little Rock.
   
Forrest Abrams' body was found at 11th street and Woodrow on May 10th, and the Department of Community Correction has come under fire over the case.

But D.C.C. says it was officials at the Pulaski County Jail who pushed for 47-year-old Darrell Dennis to be released two days before he's accused of killing Forrest Abrams.

"The jail staff ask us to release the parole hold on him," said D.C.C. spokeswoman Rhonda Sharp on Monday.

Tuesday, Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay, who oversees the jail, took exception to Sharp's comments.

"I'm not going to allow them to blame us for something we didn't do," he said.

On May 8th, Dennis was being held at the Pulaski County Jail after he was arrested for at least the 14th time since his early release from prison in 2008.

There were multiple requests for hearings that could have sent him back to prison, but they never happened.

Instead, Dennis was allowed to walk out of the jail.

Two days later, during an alleged robbery, Little Rock Police say Dennis murdered Forrest Abrams, an 18 year old who family members say wanted to go to college and eventually work with troubled youth.

Sheriff Holladay says Dennis was able to go free because D.C.C. faxed the jail a "speed letter" asking for his release.

"If they didn't want him released, they shouldn't have sent us this order to release him," Holladay said, pounding his finger down on the document.

Sharp admitted that D.C.C. released the hold that was keeping Dennis in jail.  But, she said, the agency did so at the request of the jail.

"When you're one component of a criminal justice system, you work with the other components," she said.  "The jail ask that the hold be released.  We released it."

Asked if the decision to release Dennis' hold was one D.C.C. regrets, Sharp responded:

"I'm not sure I can answer that.  What I know to be true is that D.C.C. supervised this offender to the best of its ability.

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