Inmate returns to prison following release mistake

Rachel Easterly (Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections)
Rachel Easterly (Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections)

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - An accused South Carolina criminal who was prematurely released from prison has returned to Columbia Tuesday to finish her sentence.

South Carolina Department of Corrections spokesman Josh Gelinas says Rachel Easterly was released from the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institute early on Friday, resulting from an error in the department's database system.

According to The Sun News, Easterly was sentenced to a four-year prison term after striking and killing Tommy Sullivan Jr., 15, with her car on Feb. 23, 2007. Investigators alleged she fled the scene and attempted to cover up the crime.

In connection to Sullivan's death, Easterly was sentenced on one count of hit and run resulting in death. Gelinas said when Easterly first reported to the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institute to begin her sentence, her charge was entered into the prison's system as a hit and run.

A hit and run resulting in death charge requires defendants to serve 85 percent of their sentence in jail. Easterly will reach the 85 percent minimum on Oct. 14, 2011.

Following her release from jail, Easterly will be on probation for three years.

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