• U.S.

Manhunt Under Way After Convicted Killer Mistakenly Set Free in Louisiana

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Authorities in Louisiana are searching for a man convicted of manslaughter who was mistakenly released from prison last week due to a clerical error, officials said Tuesday.

Benjuiel Johnson, 32, was serving a 40-year sentence for manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm at the Dixon Correctional Institute when he was set free on Sept. 23, reports WAFB.

Louisiana officials said the error wasn’t discovered until Monday, giving Johnson a five-day head-start.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Corrections said the system had shown that Johnson was due to be released on good behavior for prior charges but the manslaughter conviction failed to appear on his rap sheet.

Johnson had a separate outstanding charge for battery of a correctional officer and after being released from the Dixon Correctional Institute was transferred to the East Feliciana Parish detention center, where he was processed for the battery charge. He posted a $10,000 bond and was set free.

“He’s a dangerous person, but we’re going to get him, we’re going to catch him,” said Tony Clayton, a special prosecutor who assisted Johnson’s conviction. “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.”

In 2013, Johnson pleaded guilty to manslaughter and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the 2010 shooting death of Cordies Gales.

Pam Laborde, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Corrections, said those responsible for the error would face disciplinary action.


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