A lawsuit filed against the Michigan Department of Corrections accuses the agency of not properly supervising two parolees charged in the slaying of an elderly woman last year, reports the Detroit Free Press. Tonia Watson, 41, and Alan Wood, 49 — both parole absconders with histories of drug problems and criminal behavior — are accused of breaking into 80-year-old Nancy Dailey’s home in November after first befriending her, and then slashing her throat so they could rob her to get money for drugs. Watson and Wood are charged with first-degree murder.
The lawsuit was filed in Oakland County Circuit Court on behalf of Nan Drinkard, Dailey’s niece and representative of her estate. Drinkard attorney James Rasor said, “They had multiple opportunities to make sure that these very dangerous people were locked up and, despite overwhelming evidence that they were violating their parole and that they were a danger to Nancy Dailey and other seniors, they chose to ignore that risk.” Records show their parole agents knew they were suspects in new crimes but did not return them to prison. The agent supervising Wood was fired in May, and the agent supervising Watson received a 30-day unpaid suspension. The legal action comes after a Free Press investigation that found the state failed to supervise properly some of the state’s violent offenders. The department supervises 70,000 parolees and probationers. .