Attempted murder suspect mistakenly released after paperwork error
BATON ROUGE - A man who skipped out of court and was re-arrested after a WBRZ Investigative Unit report was mistakenly released from jail on January 28, 2019 after a paperwork error.
Henry Claiborne is accused of shooting Tavonte Perkins. The shooting left Perkins paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
In January, WBRZ profiled Perkins' story and how the suspect accused of committing the crime was roaming free after skipping out on a court date. Following the news coverage, Claiborne was re-arrested on January 25, 2019. But, three short days later he was back out on the streets even though he was being held "with no bond."
How did this happen?
The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's (DA) Office said Judge Trudy White sent information in a notation that there was a hold on Claiborne. However, the sheriff's office and the DA's office learned White's office never sent an actual court order for the sheriff to put a hold on Claiborne. That's when he was set free.
An arrest warrant was immediately issued for Claiborne after it was brought to the attention of the district attorney's office this morning. As the WBRZ Investigative Unit was working on this story, Claiborne was taken back into custody Tuesday afternoon.
The mix-up left Perkins' family upset.
"I just can't understand why there aren't any checks and balances," said Stephanie Bailey, Perkins' grandmother. "Who does Trudy White report to? Someone is dropping the ball. Me and my family have to live in fear of this guy. He shot my grandson multiple times. He's shown no remorse."
Bailey believes the judge's inaction, in not sending paperwork to the jail, constitutes a dereliction of duty.
"The stuff she's doing is just ridiculous, and it's not the first time," Bailey said. "It's not the first. Someone needs to check into her, and she needs to be off the bench. She definitely needs to be off the bench."
The WBRZ Investigative Unit reached out to Judge White. Calls were not returned from her office.
Bailey had this message for Judge White: "What's wrong with you? Seriously, what is wrong with you? You don't know how my grandson suffered. This guy shot him multiple times. This is a very violent crime and you are just letting him go to do it to someone else, or he could come finish my grandson off. Who knows what's in his mind. It's ok with you."
District Attorney Hillar Moore said all agencies involved will be finding out what led to this oversight. Claiborne was freed 22 days until he was captured again Tuesday afternoon.