Louisiana Prison Accidentally Releases Convicted Killer

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Casey Harper Contributor
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A convicted killer was mistakenly released from a Louisiana prison Sept. 23, and now authorities are scrambling to find him.

“We’re not trying to make excuses, it’s something that should not have happened,” Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Corrections, told WAFB News.

The release reportedly happened because of a clerical error. Benjuiel Johnson, 32 was in prison on a 40-year sentence for manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm. No one noticed he had been released for days.

Johnson pleaded guilty in 2013 to the shooting death of Cordies Gales, which landed him with the manslaughter conviction.

But officials said Johnson’s manslaughter conviction somehow went unnoticed and he was transferred to a different facility to be processed for a separate battery against an officer charge. He posted bond and was released as if his manslaughter conviction didn’t exist.

It took officials until Monday, a full five days, to realize they had made a mistake.

“He’s a dangerous person, but we’re going to get him, we’re going to catch him,” Tony Clayton, a special prosecutor who helped get Johnson convicted, told WAFB News. “If he’s a smart man, which he probably isn’t, he should probably turn himself in and if not — we’re going to use every resource available to take him off the streets.”

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Casey Harper