A North Carolina prison employee quit after the erroneous release of an inmate who was charged with kidnapping and raping a woman hours later, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. A detective blamed the mistake on budget cuts. Antwaan Clanton, 38, was released last Thursday despite pending felony charges that should have kept him locked up. On Friday, police said he kidnapped a Florida woman who had stopped to rest as she headed north on Interstate 95. She had followed roadside signs to the local hospital, which has a parking lot shaded by large trees.
As the 45-year-old woman napped in her car, Clanton is alleged to have grabbed her through the open window and forced her into the back seat. Police say he then drove her to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her. A corrections department spokesman said Clanton should have been sent from prison to a county jail. A case manager at the prison failed to check a database for pending charges, as required. The 22-year employee resigned yesterday. A police detective who handled the case said, “With the budget cuts over the last couple years, everybody is overworked and shorthanded. With staffing levels what they are, mistakes happen.”