Hays inmate mistakenly released under assumed identity

Anita Miller

A Hays County Jail inmate who conspired to change identities with another inmate was mistakenly released from custody last week but quickly recaptured. 

Shaun S. Haenes, 41, of Austin had been jailed since Oct. 29 on charges including possession of a controlled substance, identity theft, unlawfully carrying a weapon, failure to identify and tampering with governmental records, was let go shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 but was soon “located at a nearby restaurant and returned” to custom at 9:37 p.m., Lt. Dennis Gutierrez of the Has County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. 

Haenes had also been jailed on a hold” from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, which had outstanding warrants on him for bond forfeiture and fraud.

Gutierrez said investigation revealed that “for the past several days, Haenes had conspired with another cellmate to exchange identities and then bond out of jail posing as the cellmate.”

He said on Nov. 14, bail had been posted for the other cellmate, who was not named. “Haenes, under the assumed identity, was removed from his jail cell to begin his out processing paperwork. One of the corrections officers failed to follow proper inmate release procedures that would have exposed Haenes,” leading to his release.

He was additionally charged with four counts of tampering with a government record, a third degree felony, fail to identify with intent to give false information, a Class A misdemeanor, and escape while arrested/confined, a third degree felony. 

He went before a judge on Friday and was given bonds of $3,000 each for the new felony and misdemeanor charges.

He had not prior criminal history in Hays County.

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