Paper Work Error Leads Prisoner Being Released by Mistake

eric vail

Eric Vail is released from prison by accident

Fort Lauderdale, Florida – A mistake in paperwork lead to a prisoner being released by mistake, says the Broward County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies mistakenly released an inmate facing a murder charge last month because the jail had not been properly informed by the Clerk of Courts of his revised charges, an internal Broward County Sheriff’s Office review has found.

Eric Vail’s original charge was dismissed May 30 since it involved the same matter as the April charge, but Vail was released from jail that day, even though he is charged with first-degree murder. He remains at large.

The Sheriff’s Office said its review found that change to his charges was not reflected in their electronic records because the Clerk of Courts office failed to update the jail. The Sheriff’s Office said deputies at the jail cannot add a charge to an inmate’s record without the correct documentation from the Clerk of Courts.

On Monday, officials with the Sheriff’s Office, State Attorney’s Office, Clerk of Courts office and the judiciary met to discuss how to improve the distribution of official court paperwork.

Anyone with information about Vail’s whereabouts is asked to contact Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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