The D.C. Department of Corrections agreed yesterday to release a Lorton Reformatory inmate charged with setting his cell on fire to Fairfax County officials after prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr. threatened to have police service at the facility cut off.
D.C. officials initially refused to turn over the inmate to Fairfax officials, saying he had to be returned to the District pending extradition. Lorton, located in Fairfax, houses D.C. inmates and is administered by the District, but relies on the county for police and fire services.
Tyrone M. Wright, 22, who had been scheduled to be released today after completing his sentence on bail violation and attempted burglary convictions, was charged with arson after an Oct. 29 fire in his cell.
Horan had requested that Wright be released "at the front door of Lorton," from where Virginia police would take him to the Fairfax County jail to be held in lieu of $5,000 bond, but the District refused.
Horan, incensed, accused the District of "screwing us over" and wasting time and threatened to request a cutoff of police service to the prison.
The facility, plagued by escapes, fires, and disturbances, is a constant source of worry for Fairfax public safety officials and a constant source of friction between the two jurisdictions.
After Horan's comments, District officials agreed not only to release Wright but to deliver him last night to the Fairfax County jail, 10 miles away. "This saves us a lot of time, trouble and money," Horan said.
Fairfax General District Court Judge Stuart Davis issued an order in the case, which seemed to placate D.C. corrections officials, Horan said. But the order simply directed the Fairfax County sheriff's department "to take custody of" Wright and does not mention Lorton.
D.C. officials could not be reached last night for comment, but D.C. corrections spokesman Leroy Anderson said earlier yesterday that there was "nothing unusual" about forcing the county to go through extradition procedures.