The correctional system is seen as an issue in Cash death | New

As shockwaves from the May shooting of Calloway County Deputy Chief Jody Cash continue to reverberate through the area, officials and others with knowledge of the case are speaking out against a prison and parole “revolving door” which they consider partly responsible for Cash’s death.

The man who state police say killed Cash, 44, in a May 16 incident outside the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, had been charged with violating the paroled several times and was wanted for parole violation and failure to appear. arrest, records show.

Gary Rowland, 30, had recently been released from an Ohio prison after serving a parole revocation there, according to a minister who corresponded frequently with Rowland during his time in prison.

Reverend Jon Kitto, who heads the Anglican Prisons Ministry in Indiana, recently spoke to The Sun about his years-long correspondence with Rowland and how he views the parole and prison systems as “accomplices” in Cash’s murder.

For Kitto, although he considered Rowland a friend, his decision to pull the trigger will always be the biggest factor in Cash’s death.

“As a 30-year-old man, you are responsible for your own decisions,” Kitto said.

But he added that in his opinion, a corrections system more concerned with correcting than punishing and better monitoring of the parole system could have prevented the situation from happening.

Kitto says he first met Rowland after seeing his profile on an inmate pen pal website. A cached version of part of Rowland’s profile on this site indicates that he was interested in “Education” and “Orientation and Career” advice.

Kitto said he exchanged hundreds of emails and phone calls with Rowland, sometimes speaking on a daily basis, beginning in early 2019 while Rowland was incarcerated on Marshall County charges, including trafficking methamphetamine to using firearms.

After his parole in May 2021, Rowland was released to Ohio to serve a probation revocation on a previous conviction in Hamilton County, Kitto said.

Ohio Corrections officials could not be reached for comment on Rowland’s conditions or parole status.

When Rowland was released from Ohio later that year, Kitto said he picked Rowland up from a private prison and loaned him a cell phone.

And despite Rowland’s stated intention not to return to Murray, Kitto said others convinced Rowland to stay.

In late January, after Rowland stopped communicating with Kitto and Kitto received his phone from Rowland, the minister said he started receiving text messages on that phone about buying and selling drugs. by Rowland.

Kitto recalled being “crazy livid” about the posts.

He recalled an earlier phone conversation with Rowland where he told her “he was going to be either dead or in jail within six months.”

“I hung up the phone and reported him,” Kitto said.

Kitto provided a screenshot of an email he says he sent to the local corrections office on Feb. 13. He said he never received a response.

A Corrections spokesperson said Friday that the probation and parole service “investigated the situation and took appropriate action,” but did not describe what action was taken.

Records provided by the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office and confirmed by the Department of Corrections show that a parole violation warrant was issued on April 13.

A spokesperson for corrections previously said no parole violation warrant had been issued, but another spokesperson clarified that the document was not provided in response to a recent request for open records, as it had been canceled upon Rowland’s death and did not appear in the department’s offender management. program.

In a statement, Circuit Judge Jamie Jameson, who sits in Marshall and Calloway counties, blamed in part a legislature that “has continually sought ways to release inmates due to the significant expense associated with their imprisonment.”

“Many are released so quickly now that there is almost no incentive to follow the law,” Jameson said.

While praising the idea that the corrections system should turn to rehabilitation, particularly for drug-using offenders, he pointed to the 34 years of sentences Rowland had served in the 12 years since he turned 18.

“And yet the Kentucky parole board granted him parole privilege, which he very quickly violated, told officers he wasn’t going to go down without a fight, and then killed Jody Cash while Jody was trying to accommodate her,” Jameson said in her statement.

“It is so horribly tragic and it could have been avoided. I just hope that this tragic loss serves as a catalyst to review the way we deal with temporary and early release from prison.

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