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Murder suspect mistakenly released from a Florida jail has been arrested in Georgia

Posted at 7:09 AM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 07:13:41-04

(CNN) A Florida man facing a first-degree murder charge who was inadvertently released from jail in May was arrested in Georgia Wednesday, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities had been looking for Eric Vail, 28, since May 30.

Murder suspect mistakenly released from Florida jail

He was finally tracked to Jesup, Georgia, on Wednesday, where he barricaded himself inside a mobile home for about three hours before being taken into custody, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

He is expected to be extradited back to Florida to face the murder charge, the sheriff's office said.

Vail was released from jail after a change in the charge he was facing created a paperwork error that left no documentation showing he should be kept in jail, the sheriff's office said in June.

Vail is accused of using an AK-47 in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Wadarius Harris in October, CNN affiliate WFOR-TV reported.

He was first arrested on a charge of second-degree murder in January, according to the Broward County Clerk of Courts. But in April, a grand jury indicted Vail on the more serious charge of first-degree murder and he was ordered to be held without bail, according to a statement from the clerk's office. He pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on April 9 and a calendar call hearing was set for May 30.

That day, prosecutors moved to dismiss the second-degree murder charge so they could move forward with the more serious one.

The jail did not receive any documentation from the Broward Clerk of Courts saying that Vail was to remain in custody, a sheriff's spokeswoman said in a statement last month.

But the state attorney said both the sheriff's office and the clerk of courts were notified that he was to remain in jail.

The investigation into how Vail was allowed to walk free continues, authorities said.

CNN's Danielle Hackett, Ray Sanchez and Clark Goldband contributed to this report.