Murderer Mistakenly Released in Chicago After Local Charges Dropped

Friday, 01 Feb 2013 12:57 PM

By Dale Eisinger

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An out-of-town convicted murderer remained on the loose Friday after police in Chicago mistakenly released him from custody after some local charges against him were dropped.

Steven Robbins, 44, had been convicted of a 2002 Indianapolis murder.

Robbins was transported to Illinois from Indiana on Tuesday for a hearing in which he went before a Cook County judge to face charges of weapons and drug charges, a case unrelated to the murder for which he was serving 60 years in Indiana.

The judge dropped both charges and Robbins spent Tuesday night in a Cook County jail. He was supposed to be sent back to prison in Indiana to serve the rest of his term.

"For reasons yet unknown, the offender was released by Illinois authorities," the Indiana Department of Corrections said in a statement.

Paperwork at the Cook County Jail had no indication that he was to remain in custody there, so he was released Wednesday night. He left the jail through its main entrance.

The Cook County Sheriff's Department didn't announce that Robbins had gone missing until Thursday evening. Officials there said they did not want Robbins' guard to be heightened by alerting him to the manhunt, so did not announce his disappearance publicly.

"The sheriff has ordered an investigation into the facts and circumstances regarding his court appearance and release from custody," the Cook County Sheriff's Department said.

The Chicago Tribune reported that a similar situation occurred in 2009 when a convicted sex offender who was serving a 30-year prison sentence in Mississippi for manslaughter was mistakenly released after prosecutors dropped local charges against him.

Robbins was described by law enforcement as 5 feet 5 inches and 190 pounds with a tattoo on the right side of his neck that says "Nicole."

His ex-wife, Nicole Robbins, said she had no idea where he was.

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