28 Sep 2023 By cnn
A homicide suspect who was mistakenly released from a detention center in Indianapolis two weeks ago due to a clerical error was captured Wednesday in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.
Kevin Mason, 28, was apprehended at about 2 p.m. ET by the US Marshals Service, which had launched a manhunt for his whereabouts since his release, the office said.
"I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and congratulations to the USMS for concluding this manhunt and safely bringing Mason back into custody," Marion County Sheriff Kerry J. Forestal said in a statement.
"Our federal partners have kept us informed throughout the entire process. We are truly thankful for their assistance and wide resources - most specifically, their task force partnerships with local law enforcement agencies that have allowed them to pursue Kevin Mason throughout the country."
Mason was first arrested in Indiana on September 11, having been sought on three Minnesota warrants, including one asking he be held on suspicion of murder in connection with a 2021 shooting in Minneapolis, the sheriff's office said. The other warrants relate to an alleged parole violation and firearms possession, sheriff's Col. James Martin said.
Yet two days later he was "mistakenly released" from an adult detention center "due to a faulty records review" by staff, the sheriff's office said.
A Marion County sheriff's clerk thought she was correcting duplicate bookings for the inmate and removed two holds in his file, Martin said. The next day, a clerk in Minnesota lifted the final hold in Mason's file and did not catch the previous error, he said.
The mistake sparked a manhunt for his whereabouts, and the US Marshals Service offered up a $10,000 reward for those with information leading to his arrest.
The two inmate records clerks involved in Martin's release have been fired, and an internal investigation is being conducted, according to Martin.
"This was an error - this should not have happened. Mason should not have been released from our custody," Martin said.
The search for Mason came on the heels of a massive manhunt that captured national attention in Pennsylvania. Convicted killer Danilo Cavalcante escaped from a Pennsylvania county jail by "crab-walking" up to the roof on August 31 and managed to evade hundreds of officers searching for him for nearly two weeks before he was recaptured in the woods.
Officials discovered the error "shortly after" Mason's release and a "round-the-clock" manhunt had been underway since, Martin said.
However, the sheriff's office waited six days to alert the public of the accidental release because it wanted to maintain a "tactical advantage," Martin told reporters.
The US Marshals Service took over the investigation, the Marion County sheriff's office said in a Friday update. The sheriff's office said it had contacted law enforcement agencies in areas where Mason was believed to have connections.
CNN's Jared Formanek, Nouran Salahieh, Andy Rose and Samantha Beech contributed to this report.
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