Man charged with first-degree murder mistakenly released from Lafayette Parish Jail

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A man charged with first-degree murder is back on the streets after he was mistakenly released from the Lafayette Parish jail.

Now law enforcement is searching for him, but he’s nowhere to be found.

Rontralon Joseph, 19, and D’ivion Francis, 17, were both indicted for first-degree murder in January, accused of killing 20-year-old Tiage Hudson in Lafayette.

Joseph was also facing charges of obstruction of justice, possession of a stolen firearm, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in addition to the first-degree murder charge.

He remained in the Lafayette Parish Jail on all four of these charges for almost a year, but that recently changed.

On November 16, Joseph posted a $5,000 bond for his charges of obstruction of justice, possession of a stolen firearm, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and walked right out of the jail and back on the streets.

With the first-degree murder charge, however, he was not eligible to post bail.

News 10’s investigation into what happened revealed that a grand jury indicted Joseph for first-degree murder in January, but the charge did not make it onto the written indictment.

That means while Joseph was in jail, there was no record of the murder charge to hold him there.

When the district attorney’s office learned of this mistake, they issued another warrant for his arrest on November 18, two days after he was released.

Two weeks have gone by and there’s been no sign of him.

The victim’s mother says her son’s accused murderer got to celebrate Thanksgiving out of jail, while she spent the holiday visiting her son’s grave.

District Attorney Keith Stutes told News 10 Thursday afternoon that Joseph should not have been able to bond out of jail because of that first-degree charge against him.

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