Cook County Jail inmate mistakenly released

September 18, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Jeremiah Harris, 25, was serving a 12-year prison sentence, while also facing a 2008 double murder charge. On Monday, Harris was found not guilty of the murders, and that's when the sheriff says a judge's error allowed Harris to be released at the 26th and California courthouse instead of being returned to Stateville prison in Joliet.

Jail staff didn't realize the mistake until Wednesday morning when another judge called about a possible paperwork error and inquired about Harris' whereabouts. All day, sheriff's special operations officers searched Harris' last known addresses as well as contacting his family and friends. He was found Wednesday afternoon.

Cara Smith, a spokesperson for Sheriff Tom Dart, points the finger of blame at Cook County Judge Kevin Sheahan, who she says did not order Harris remanded to custody. Instead, Smith said corrections staffers received paperwork that only indicated Smith was free to go on the murder charge.

Harris was more than five years into a 12-year sentence after being convicted on the offense of being an "armed habitual criminal." Harris is from Chicago and has a tattoo on his left forearm that reads, "Love Mom."

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