Inmate Mistakenly Released - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Charleston, MO

Inmate Mistakenly Released

Inmate Mistakenly Released
By: CJ Cassidy

Charleston, MO -From deadly shootings to a citizen vigil to take back the s treets, people in Charleston are dealing with a good amount of bad news recently.

Now Mississippi County jailers recover from the latest controversy. The mistaken release of a suspected gunman, previously accused of murder.

The Sheriff blames Antoine Atchison's release on clerical errors and a lack of communication between the county circuit clerk's office and the detention center.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor says the whole ordeal might never have happened if witnesses in Charleston would just stand up against the violence. Literally, take the stand and testify.

"He had himself a little furlough. He just went out with friends and family he ran around some," Sheriff Keith Moore says.

Atchison's back behind bars, and Moore agrees he should never have been running free in the first place.

Prosecutor Darren Cann explains where the confusion came in. Murder charges against atchison were dismissed earlier this week, in the shooting death of Chance Kitchen back in 2004.

"It's the second time the key witness did not show up. Without him there was simply no evidence to link Antoine to the actual shooting so it was discharged," Cann says.

But Atchison faces more charges for an alleged shooting in a housing project two years ago.

"So we've got two counts of assault in the first degree, two counts of armed criminal action, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon," Cann points out.

That's why Sheriff Moore says he reacted so quickly to get Atchison off the streets.

"I talked to the m omma and told her it was best for him to turn himself in and it worked out," Moore says.

Now following what they refer to as a close call other folks admit a change of attitude may be just what the city needs.

"We all do need to step up a little bit try to keep our kids we have too many children innocent bystanders getting hurt too," Rob Gary, a Charleston says.

"If I see anything I'm telling so I don't know why they do that," another resident, Janis Owen says.

Prosecutor Cann agrees it takes willing witnesses for the justice system to work.

"If the kew witness would've come forward there would be no question," Cann says.

Sheriff Moore says he plans on making sure he resolves communication issues between the jail and circuit clerks' office.

On a separate note, Charleston Police still have no suspects in connection with the recent shootings there, and ask you to call them if you have any information, you think might help them make a case.

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