L.A. police searching for murder suspect they mistakingly released from jail

lapd mistaken release

Just days after capturing 3 escaped prisoners, police are searching again. But this time, there was no daring escape – rather, Sheriff’s deputies are searching for a murder suspect who they mistakenly released Saturday while he awaited trial for a gang-related murder in Pasadena.

Steven Lawrence Wright, 37, of Altadena was released from the Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles around 12:55 p.m. on Saturday, reports ABC 7. They did not realize the error until 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Here is how the snafu happened, via LA Times:

Wright had been in custody facing a murder charge. Last week, he was sentenced to five days in jail for a contempt of court conviction he garnered while awaiting trial, said Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Keith Swensson.

When Wright was transferred to the Inmate Reception Center from court, the paperwork he was sent with contained an error, Swensson said. The docket number for his contempt of court case was put in the box where his murder case should have gone, making it appear he was due to be released Saturday instead of being held without bail pending a trial, Swensson said.

The clerk made a handwritten note with the correct information at the bottom – but three sheriff’s department employees missed it and Wright was released just before 1 p.m., he said. No one noticed the mistake until 9:30 p.m. Sunday when the district attorney’s office asked if he was still in custody, officials said.

Wright was arrested in April of 2011 for the gang-related shooting death of a 47-year-old man in Pasadena, according to CBS 2. At the time police said Wright belonged to the Altadena Block Crips.