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Sheriff: Alleged murderer first inmate on work release charged with crime

The case of an inmate committing a crime while on work release is a rarity, according to the heads of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center.

It's so rare that the case of Robert Theodore Bosley, an inmate who was accused this week of first-degree murder, is the first time in the program's 17 years that someone has been charged with a crime while on work release, according to Sheriff Jim DeWees and Carroll County Detention Center Warden George Hardinger.

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Bosley, 38, and Bret Michael Wheeler, 25, of New Windsor, were each charged Tuesday with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Kandi Lynn Gerber, 35, also of New Windsor. According to prosecutors and charging documents, the two men lured Gerber to a house in the 2000 block of Dennings Road where Bosley strangled her and then slit her throat.

Prior to Gerber's death, the detention center staff received an anonymous call from a woman who claimed Bosley was not going to his place of employment while on work release. Staff investigated the call and the claim was unfounded, DeWees said through a text.

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Circuit Court Chief State's Attorney Allan Culver said during a Wednesday bail review that a possible motive for Bosley is that Gerber called to report that he was going to Ocean City instead of his place of employment. However, DeWees said in his text that Detention Center staff are working to determine who the anonymous female caller was, and Bosley's work release case is being investigated.

"There was nothing through the work release program that would have suggested Mr. Bolsey would do something like this," he said through text.

The work release program has strict protocols for who can be approved for work release, DeWees and Hardinger said.

As of Thursday, there were 15 inmates on work release, Hardinger said.

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The program is used as a way to prepare someone for re-entry into society, DeWees said.

"We can't just lock someone up and then open the door and say 'Go at it; good luck with it,' " he said.

There are two ways a person can be selected for work release. It can be ordered by a judge or a person can work his or her way through the ranks, apply and be approved, DeWees said.

If a person is coming up through the system, they will first work as an internal trustee, doing work in and around the jail, before they can apply for work release. Once they apply they must be approved by Hardinger before they can start on work release, Hardinger said.

There are no hard and fast guidelines for whether Hardinger will approve someone for work release, he said, but added there are certain conditions that will stop him from approving someone.

A person cannot have pending charges and they cannot be waiting for a trial, meaning they must be convicted of their crimes already, he said.

Hardinger will look at the charges an inmate has been convicted of, and he said he'll deny a request if an inmate has been charged with another crime, including repeated violations of exparte orders or sex offenses.

Inmates must also be close to being released to be approved for work release if it is not court ordered, he said.

"We try to make it available, but it's a very selective process," Hardinger said.

In addition to Hardinger, there is a committee made of up of seven or eight people from all areas of the Detention Center, including people from secure and general housing and the re-entry coordinator, who oversees the work release program, he said.

DeWees said in a text that Bosley met all the requirements for work release and was within a month of being released.

Work release jobs are brought in by the inmate. They can be jobs that the inmate had before incarceration or jobs that they found while in the jail. The Detention Center staff allows inmates to browse through newspaper classifieds and search online for jobs, and they are allowed to attend job interviews, Hardinger said.

People who come in with a court order for work release often already have a job. Court-ordered work release makes up about 10 percent of inmates on work release, Hardinger said.

Hardinger said his staff investigates the job, and they establish a sponsor at the job for the individual on work release. That way, there is a person they can call who is familiar with the case, he said.

An inmate on work release is released for the hours of his employment. In Bosley's case, he was not slated to return to the jail until 9:30 p.m., according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office. DeWees said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation but said his deputies are currently looking at Bosley's work release case.

The Detention Center does regular check ups on the inmate on work release, he said.

In some cases, the Detention Center monitors people on work release with GPS tracking. It's something the jail would like to expand, Hardinger said.

DeWees said his staff is continuing to investigate Gerber's death.

"Unfortunately, we can't see the future: We can't predict what an individual might do. Unfortunately, the is the worst-case scenario," he said.

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