Man who kidnapped Elton B. Stephens Jr. recaptured in Alabaster after accidently being released last week

Crime

(Shelby County Jail)

ALABASTER, Ala. (WIAT) — A man who was convicted of kidnapping a Birmingham businessman and sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison was recaptured Friday night after accidently being released one week ago.

Matthew Amos Burke, 35, was arrested by the Alabaster Police Department shortly after 8 p.m. Friday. Authorities said that he will be transferred to the Shelby County Jail.

Tommy Spina, attorney for the Birmingham businessman, claimed that Burke was hiding since his accidental release. Additionally, Spina said that Burke had been “hanging out” at a Chevron gas station on Exit 238 of I-65. He had dyed his hair blonde and shaved his facial hair.

Burke was sentenced to 17 years in prison for kidnapping Elton B. Stephens Jr. last year, according to jail records. On Friday, Dec. 10, he was accidently released from the Jefferson County Jail after state charges were dismissed.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time he was transferred to the jail, there was “no documentation left to notify jail personnel that Burke had been sentenced by another court and was not to be released.”

It wasn’t until Monday afternoon that it was discovered Burke should have been kept in custody.

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