FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - An inmate charged with attempted murder is accidentally released from the Fulton County Jail.
Officials at the jail said Lamar Hillard walked out the front door due to a civilian staff oversight. Hillard was accidentally released on the Fourth of July at around 2:30 a.m.
“It was an error, an honest mistake, I do not think she willfully, intentionally released this person,” said Lt. Col. Kirt Beasley with the Fulton County Jail.
Hillard and another man are accused of firing several shots at the Doll House entertainment club in Sandy Springs. Authorities said the suspects shot one man in the back and injured a second person who was hit by random bullets.
Hillard was indicted and charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and attempted murder in February. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said they added an armed robbery charge in order to strengthen the punishment and re-indicted Hillard in June.
Lt. Col. Beasley said a staff member noticed a nolle prossed stamp dated June 29 on Hillard’s file, which normally means that person is to be released. The staff member thought she was doing the right thing by trying to release the inmate, however, she did not notice the written “Reindict” note above the stamp, which means Hillard was not to be released.
“She thought to herself, wow this person is still in custody, should be gone, missing the re-indictment stated on the document and thus processed the man incorrectly,” said Lt. Col. Beasley.
Colonel Beasley said they realized the error about eight hours after Hillard was released and immediately issued a re-arrest warrant Tuesday morning.
The colonel said on Wednesday afternoon Hillard was pulled over in Ohio about 60 miles east of Cleveland and was arrested on a 2008 warrant for local drug charges. The warrant out of Fulton County also popped up.
The jail is taking steps to make sure this does not happen again, including re-training their staff and having supervisors from two different departments review the release documents for high aggravated charges like Hillard’s case.
FOX 5’s Nathalie Pozo reached out to both of the victims; one of the victim’s attorneys provided the following statement:
“Dameion was extremely alarmed and in fear of his life and went into hiding. I was in touch with police and the district attorney’s office. We were tremendously relieved when we found out Hillard was apprehended.”
“I am very grateful he was found, I can only imagine how the victim felt,” said Lt. Col. Beasley.
Lt. Col. Beasley said she is recommending to the sheriff that the staff member who committed the error continue working at the jail because she does not believe she released the inmate intentionally.
Lt. Col. Beasley said once Hillard appears in court and completes any sentences he may receive for the charges in Ohio, he would be extradited to Georgia.