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North Carolina inmate back in custody after being mistakenly released

Vance Edward Hinson Jr. was deemed armed and dangerous.
Credit: WLTX

BURKE COUNTY, N.C. — The Burke County Sheriff's Office says they have found an inmate who was mistakenly released over the weekend.

Deputies say 27-year-old Vance Edward Hinson Jr. was wrongly released around 8:46 p.m. on Friday, July 2. According to them, a detention officer called out the name of another inmate, and Hinson responded. Hinson was then released from jail that night. It wasn't until about 9:20 p.m. that officers inside the jail realized what happened. Supervisors were notified and the investigation into how jail protocols weren't followed was launched.

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Burke County deputies began scouring the county, and had already checked out possible locations he could have gone to. However, he reportedly changed clothes after leaving the jail. Other law enforcement agencies within a 100-mile radius of the county were notified, and the U.S. Marshals Service was summoned to help find him.

Hinson was previously in custody for failure to appear, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, and a probation violation. He now is facing a new charge of felony escape and was previously described as armed and dangerous.

Around 2:43 p.m. Tuesday, deputies announced Hinson was found in the attic of a home along Jenkins Road in Morganton. He was taken back into custody without resistance.

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Note: WCNC instituted a new policy in March 2021 regarding the broadcast or posting of mugshots.  

WCNC will only air or post a mugshot if the person has been formally charged with a crime and in a few other cases. The exceptions include: If it appears the person could be a danger to themselves or others or if they are wanted by authorities; to differentiate between people with a common name; if the photos could encourage more victims to come forward. The news-editorial leadership may also decide to use a mugshot based on the severity of the crime(s) committed and/or the level of public interest in the crime and ensuing criminal proceedings.

WCNC Charlotte previously shared his mugshot as he was wanted and deemed armed and dangerous. The mugshot remains as the circumstances surrounding his wrongful release are under investigation.