US Marshals have offered a $10,000 reward for murder suspect Kevin Mason (pictured left) who was accidentally released from jail in Indiana due to an administrative error on September 13. The police then kept the error a secret for another six days before admitting their mistake to the public.
Mason, 28, was arrested on September 11 after more than two years on the run for allegedly shooting Dontevius Ahmad Catchings at a funeral in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It has been eight days since he was mistakenly set free, and Marion Co Sheriff’s Office have announced a monetary reward for any new information or leads on the fugitive’s whereabouts.
Colonel James Martin told NBC News that the accidental release occurred when one of the inmate records clerks was amending books for Mason and mistakenly removed two of the charges against him after he thought they were duplicates.
The wanted poster that US Marshals have distributed described Mason as ‘armed and dangerous’, wanted for homicide, and added that he has ‘scars/tattoos’ on his cheek, neck and chest. Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said in an update on Wednesday that a woman, identified as 29-year-old Desiree Oliver was arrested on one count of assisting a criminal. The level 5 felony came as officials believed that Oliver, who officers have identified as Mason’s girlfriend, knows his location, based on her alleged actions after he was released, according to FOX 59.
Mason had been charged with homicide, parole violation and firearms possession. Colonel Martin said that the release was ‘a critical error, critical mistake’, and added that the two record clerks responsible have been dismissed because of it.
A frantic manhunt has been launched since Mason walked free, as the Marion County Sheriff’s Office have joined with Beech Grove Police, Speedway Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to locate him.
The $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information that could lead to the arrest of Mason. As for the individuals who are reportedly helping Mason stay under the radar, Martin said that authorities will not stop until he is brought back in. ‘We are going to be very aggressive in pursuing you. We will find you and we will criminally charge you, just as we did Desiree Oliver,’ Martin said.
Mason currently has four felony convictions for violent crimes, evaded capture for more than two years and was thought to be hiding out in Florida at one point.
When he was initially arrested in Indiana on September 11, there were three separate warrants out of the state of Minnesota for homicide, parole violation and firearms possession. The police’s reason for waiting six days to reveal that Mason was mistakenly let out of prison, was so they could gain a ‘tactical advantage’ over him.
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