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Murder Suspect Released From Jail by Mistake
Murder Suspect Released From Jail by Mistake–Fort Lauderdale Florida-On Thursday Broward Sheriff’s deputy’s made a major mistake. They released from custody a suspect that was ordered to be held without bond on murder charges even though a judge ordered he be held without bond.
Eric Alexander Vail had been in the jail since January, charged with the October shooting death of Wadarius Harris 27, of Miami. He was originally arrested on a second-degree murder charge, but a grand jury indicted him and a suspected accomplice, Christopher Avery Campbell 29, with first-degree murder in April.
According to the Sun Sentinel:
“Something appears to have gone wrong here. Very wrong,” said Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office is representing Vail. He was notified Saturday of the release, Finkelstein said.
“All I can tell you is he’s not supposed to be out,” Finkelstein said. “We have not heard from the client. We have no idea where he is.”
While Finkelstein wasn’t told why Vail was released, he said there could have been confusion over court documents.
Maybe detention officials looked at the dismissal without seeing the continuing charge, he said.
Vail had two cases in Broward Circuit Court, one from his January arrest and the second coming from the April grand jury indictment.
Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer dismissed the original case since the charge was changed to first-degree murder at the April grand jury hearing. public Defender Howard Finkelstein told the Sun-Sentinel that this is a standard procedure when a grand jury comes out with an upgraded charge.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer is an experienced judge who handles these type of charges routinely. She is the judge who is currently presiding over the Parkland School Shooter case. So we are sure the judge got it right.
So What Happened?
It doesn’t take a lot of brain power to figure out the jail staff really screwed up. They let an alleged very violent person out into our community, and chances are he is not going to make it easy to find him.
Eric Alexander Vail is accused of some very violent crimes and now he is loose in our community and chances are he has already armed himself.
But as usual in Broward, the “buck” passing has started.according to a statement from The Broward Sherrif’s Office:
In Vail’s case, for some reason, the Sheriff’s Office only learned that the lesser charge had been dismissed; they said no one told them to hold Vail on the more serious charge.
“It is the responsibility of the Broward County Clerk of Courts to distribute official documentation between all the essential parties about court proceedings, to include communications involving inmates in custody,” according to a statement from Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion. “On Thursday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office was notified that the second-degree murder charge on Eric Vail had been dismissed. At the time Vail was scheduled for release, the jail had not received any documentation from the Clerk of Courts stating the subject was to remain in custody to face another charge.”
The clerk’s office said it is investigating exactly what went wrong and declined to comment early Monday afternoon, according to the Sun Sentinel.
According to The State Attorney’s Office: “After speaking again with the Sheriff’s Office this morning, we are confident that the State Attorney’s Office correctly followed all procedures and provided the relevant paperwork through the proper channels,” spokeswoman Paula McMahon said.
Seems at this time, no one is taking responsibility for the incident.
According to the Sun Sentinel:
According to investigators, Campbell and Vail were driving a Nissan Altima on Southwest 52nd Avenue in Pembroke Park when they pulled alongside Harris — who was driving a Chevy pickup — and opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle.
Harris died instantly, but his pickup veered into the Altima, causing it to crash into a utility pole and flip over, investigators said. They concluded that Vail was the shooter and Campbell was the Nissan’s driver.
Police said that Campbell, of Miami, and Harris had been in a continuing feud that involved some drive-by shootings, one of which killed Campbell’s mother in Miami-Dade County.
Source: Sun Sentinel