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One suspect in the murder of 15-year-old Gregory Holt had been released from prison early.
A new state program that started in January was designed to save the state millions of dollars and help convicts transition back into society.
Cannon Pendergrass was let go 6 months early, but is now back in jail, charged with murder.
Pendergrass had served 4 years, 6 months and 10 days on various charges, including robbery, evading police, escape and receiving stolen property. He was released March 1, one of the more than 16-hundred inmates so far, who have been let go early under the new law.
The law allows certain prisoners to be released up to 6 months early. They are supervised by parole officers and provided services to help them stay out of prison. The law was designed to save the state 40-million dollars and reduce repeat offenders.
But the spokesperson for Gregory Holt's family says any savings are not worth the risk.
"They should find another way," said Teri Tharpe. "You say you're trying to save money, but look what happened. There's a 15-year-old in the ground. A mom and dad is without their son today because you're trying to save money."
The state Department of Corrections said no one could comment today on camera. But the department did release a statement acknowledging Holt's death and defending the program.
The statement said, in part, "We can never guarantee human behavior, not with this population or any other group of people, including those who have never been in trouble."
The statement goes on to say that those in the program would have been released within 6 months with "absolutely no supervision or services."
The department says the early release program is "our best chance to help them successfully reintegrate into society."
But Holt's family is simply not buying it.
"They continue to let these people out of the jail. They come out, they do more crimes, they go back in. I don't understand why they do it. You claim you're protecting our system, or that our prisons are overflooded, but what happens now? You let him out. He got out 6 months early, now he's involved in another crime, a brutal crime, and the state is responsible for it."
The Department of Corrections says, so far, about 10-percent of the inmates released early have returned to prison. But they add, it's still too early to judge the success of the program.
You may recall, a second suspect in Holt's murder had also been released early for cooperating in another investigation. And we've just learned that all three suspects in the Holt case have been indicted by the grand jury on murder and complicity charges.