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Error by Putnam County Sheriff's Office lands innocent woman in jail

by: Kevin Clark, Action News Jax Updated:

An Action News Jax investigation has found that a data error made by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office caused an innocent woman to spend days in jail.

It happened as an employee was entering an arrest warrant for an entirely different woman.

The warrant, created in November of last year, was for the arrest of Robyn White Coleman, 47, on drug charges.

Robin Renee Coleman, 43, would end up behind bars instead.

A source told us Robin Renee Coleman was arrested in Lake County earlier this month after an officer ran her information. Law enforcement confirmed this on Friday.    

She would spend nearly four days in custody, between Lake and Putnam Counties.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said that the information used by Lake County authorities came from the error made entering the warrant.

Deputies say information of the two women, including birth dates and Social Security numbers, were combined.

“In error, our data entry person combined the two pieces of information together,” said Col. Joseph Wells, chief deputy of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. “So what we ended up with was a warrant entry that contained the data for both of these women.”

The Sheriff’s Office learned about the error from the state attorney’s office, after Coleman already bonded out.

It’s prompted an internal investigation within the Sheriff’s Office, which called the error an honest mistake made by a longtime employee.

“We have no other way to take care of this other than to own it, and take the steps to make sure it never happens again,” Wells said.

Deputies did say the department added more checks and balances to the warrant entering process at the beginning of the year. This was after the erroneous warrant entry was made.

They did not want to make any further statements because of possible litigation.

Action News Jax spoke with the husband of Robin Renee Coleman, who said they have contacted an attorney.