Monitoring company says it's not to blame for escaped murder suspect

Emma Hope Grant, 26, of Riverdale cut her ankle bracelet around 1 p.m. Tuesday, but investigators weren't notified until 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Sheriff's Office. Officials with Judicial Correction Services said Thursday the company was not responsible for that delay and provided a timeline of events.

Meanwhile, investigators continue to search for Grant, who was fitted with the ankle monitor June 6 as a condition of her $35,000 bond. That bond has been revoked.

Grant is charged in connection with the shooting death of Nekeshia Rawls, 31, killed in Stone Mountain in August 2008. Grant was not the alleged shooter, WAGA-TV reported.

Anyone with information on Grant's whereabouts is urged to call the Sheriff's Office Fugitive Squad at 404-298-8200.

Judicial Correction Services, which has offices in Georgia and Alabama, issued a detailed account Thursday of how it responded to the case:

The company said it received an alert around 1 p.m. Tuesday that Grant had cut or tampered with the ankle monitor. A company officer tried calling Grant on her cellphone at 1:23 p.m.,  and continued calling for nearly two hours. There was no answer. The officer told the monitoring center to set off the device's alarm at 3:17 p.m.

At 3:20 p.m., the officer contacted the District Attorney's office trying to reach deputy chief assistant Robert Statham. "This was the agreed upon protocol when the monitor was placed on the defendant."

The officer was "continually sent to the voice mail system for approximately 15 minutes." At 3:35 p.m., the officer called the office of Superior Court Judge Linda Warren Hunter, who oversaw the bond hearing, and spoke to Hunter's case manager. The case manager called back at 3:45 p.m. saying she had spoken to Hunter and that a warrant would be issued for Grant's arrest.

"We notified the court in a timely fashion," the company's press release states.

Efforts to reach Hunter were not immediately successful.

Don Geary, DeKalb's chief assistant district attorney, said the judge's office sent Statham an email between 4:30 and 5 p.m. Tuesday stating "the defedant had absconded." Statham didn't see the email until Wednesday morning, however, Geary said. About the same time Wednesday morning, Geary received a call from the judge's office asking for a bond revocation order to be drawn up.

"We prepared that immediately once the judge instructed us," Geary said.

Geary added that monitoring companies are supposed to notify the court and the sheriff's department, not the District Attorney's office.

Grant's disappearance is the latest example of problems with court-ordered ankle monitors.

In August, police say, Fulton County murder suspect Antoine Wimes cut off his ankle monitor and went on a rampage, shooting a woman in the face and beating her 1-year-old baby during a home invasion. Police said they learned Wimes, a teen, had escaped house arrest when his mother called them.

Fulton County fired the monitoring company, Georgia House Arrest, following that incident.

In April, a so-called "comedy of errors" enabled former DeKalb sheriff's deputy Derrick Yancey to escape house arrest just over a month after he was charged in the shooting deaths of his wife and a day laborer.  Yancey was captured in September in Belize.

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