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Florida jail frees inmate over COVID-19 concerns. Then he went and killed a man the next day, cops say.


Stupid is as stupid does

Image source: WFLA-TV video screenshot

A newly released Florida man is back in jail after he reportedly murdered a man just a day after he was let out of prison.

What are the details?

Authorities arrested Edward Williams, 26, of Tampa, Florida, on a warrant Monday, the report said. Williams is facing charges of second-degree murder, gun possession, violently resisting an officer, drug possession, and paraphernalia possession. He was jailed with no bond.

According to NBC News, Williams was released from prison in March over concerns that COVID-19 could spread in corrections facilities. He was freed just six days after being arrested in March on suspicion of heroin possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In a statement, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said that a Florida judge authorized the department to "release any pretrial detainee for a municipal or county ordinance violation, a misdemeanor offense, a criminal traffic offense, or a third-degree felony offense" in order to tamp down the spread of the coronavirus.

The spokesperson said, "The order was drafted in an effort to lower the risk of the spread of COVID-19 within the Hillsborough County detention facilities and to protect the inmates, deputies, and civilian staff working within the jails."

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said that Williams "took advantage" of the health emergency following his release.

"Judges, prosecutors, and sheriffs around the country are facing difficult decisions during this health crisis with respect to balancing public health and public safety," he added. "Sheriffs in Florida and throughout our country have released nonviolent, low-level offenders to protect our deputies and the jail population from an outbreak."

What else?

According to WFLA-TV, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has released at least 164 low-level, nonviolent offenders at the time of this writing.

Chronister added, "Every murder, every violent crime, especially those involving a gun, is a sickening example of the worst in our community, especially at a time when our community is working relentlessly to fight against the spread of this deadly COVID-19."

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