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Manhunt continues overnight

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PLAQUEMINE - U.S. Marshals have joined the search for a convicted killer who was mistakenly released from jail this weekend.

The search, which was revealed Tuesday, will continue overnight and into Wednesday morning since Benjuiel Johnson, 32, remains at large. Johnson was allowed to be released Saturday. The state prison system blamed a computer glitch.

"It's something that shouldn't have happened, it was an oversight on the staff, but it's something that should have been caught before he got out," Pam Laborde with the Department of Corrections said in an interview with WBRZ TV.

Johnson was serving time for various offenses, worst of which was for manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon related to the September 2010 murder of Cordies Gales in Iberville Parish.

Gales' family members were confused about the accidental release when they spoke with WBRZ reporter Brittany Weiss Tuesday night.

"Our life is threatened; our life is on the line," Molly Hardin, Gales' mother, said with worry. Hardin is concerned Johnson may come after her or someone else.

Johnson was able to bond out of jail in East Feliciana Parish where he was sent to face a pending charge. Officials said they ran his name through the computer system and a manslaughter conviction failed to show up, allowing him to be released on good behavior for prior charges.

Laborde said probation and parole officers, the U. S. Marshals Service and the State Police Fusion Center are also involved in the search.


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