What Happened With Whitlock?: Sheriff's Office Blames State
Whitlock In February, convicted murder Thomas Aaron Whitlock received an unexpected gift. The York County Sheriff's office released him by mistake. The sheriff's office has now completed a review of that case and blames North Carolina authorities. Whitlock was serving an 11- to 14-year sentence for the 2009 murder conviction. That's when York County picked him up at the Bertie Correctional Institution in eastern North Carolina. Still, even though he was serving time in another prison, the sheriff's office says that the documentation from North Carolina authorities wasn't clear about Whitlock's status. They called it "inadequate." Whitlock was brought back to South Carolina to face drug charges. He pleaded guilty on February 8 and walked out the door that same day. The press release from the York County Sheriff's Office complains that deputies were not provided any oral or written documentation that Whitlock must return to the North Carolina facility. They also blame North Carolina for letting Whitlock wear civilian clothes. There are some unanswered questions. For example, why would South Carolina officials be under the impression that they wouldn't have to send him back to a prison several hours away. However, York County officials declined to comment. And a North Carolina prison spokesman said that they followed the proper procedures and provided the appropriate forms. Whitlock was on the loose for over three weeks. He was captured in Dallas, Texas and is now back in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.