Lauderdale Co. officials seek mistakenly-released inmate

Lauderdale Co. officials seek mistakenly-released inmate

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Authorities are looking for an inmate after he was mistakenly released from jail in Lauderdale County.

Lauderdale County officials say Michael Prater was serving time in the state prison for child abuse charges when he was transported back to Lauderdale County last week to be sentenced for an escape charge.

Prater was sentenced to 15 years for the escape charge, and returned to the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

On Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Corrections forwarded paperwork notifying the jail Prater was to be released on probation.

Local authorities were not aware of his recent sentence and released him Thursday morning. Prater has additional charges pending.

"The sentencing order from our circuit court was not entered into the system on time," said Richard Richey with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department. "By mistake, one of the detention officers released him at 7 o'clock. There is a warrant for his arrest for leaving; it's not an escape charge - it's just a bench warrant."

Investigators said Prater initially used his 5-year-old son as a human shield when agents were trying to arrest him for two felony warrants.

Prater was also indicted on an aggravated stalking charge in June 2014.

If you have any information on where Prater is or if you see him, you're asked to call the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department immediately. Prater should be considered dangerous.

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