Murder Suspect Mistakenly Released In Avery County

Authorities say a clerical error led to the release of a Lenoir man who was supposed to remain in prison while awaiting trial on a murder charge.

Lenoir Police Chief Scott Brown told the News-Topic of Lenoir ( ) that 37-year-old Michael Whisnant was arrested without incident Friday night at his father's home, just a few hours after he was mistakenly released from the Avery County Jail.

Brown says Whisnant's release was a clerical error, but he didn't have details.

Investigators say Whisnant killed his girlfriend, whose body was found wrapped in a comforter at the home he shared with his mother in April. He was already on house arrest awaiting trial after police say he broke his girlfriend's jaw with a hammer in 2011.

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