The man who died in a police shootout after robbing the Bank of Eufaula, Ok., and killing its president Jan. 21 had been released from Texas prisons twice despite having a 60-year prison term to serve in Oklahoma, the Tulsa World reports. Officials from Creek and Tulsa counties, as well as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, maintain that they correctly followed procedure to get Cedric Lamont Norris into their custody to serve sentences for multiple robbery, burglary and property theft convictions he received in at least five counties among two states.
A Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said Norris, 39, had been released on parole on Jan. 25, 2007, and March 22, 2012. At both times he should have been in an Oklahoma prison for 2006 robbery convictions. “Where the breakdown came at this point in time may be hard to determine,” said Creek County District Attorney Max Cook, who was the prosecutor when a judge sentenced Norris in 2006 for a jewelry store robbery. Texas and Oklahoma authorities said they're unsure where the communication breakdown occurred, but they unanimously agreed in interviews Norris should not have been released from custody