A murder suspect is at large after he was mistakenly released from Rikers Island in New York due to a clerical error. Police are on a manhunt for Christopher Buggs, 26, from Brooklyn, who is considered armed and dangerous, an NYPD spokesperson told Fox News.
Buggs has been awaiting trial for three years after he was accused of fatally shooting ex-con Ernest Brownlee, 55, outside a Brooklyn bodega on Jan. 29, 2018, according to New York Daily News. Buggs was located five days later and charged in the case.
He was released early Tuesday morning from the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on an "erroneous discharge," the Correction Department noted. Sources speaking with New York Daily News said Buggs had been sentenced to 30 days in a separate criminal contempt case but the sentence was accidentally listed as the final disposition on the murder case. The mistake was not picked up on when jail staffers processed the release.
Correction Department spokesperson Peter Thorne said an investigation was underway. "We are aware of this incident, and a full investigation into how this happened is underway," he said. "Right now we are working with our law enforcement partners to return this individual to custody."
There have been dozens of similar incidents that have taken place over the years.
In October 2019, convicted rapist Tony Maycon Munoz-Mendez was "released in error" from Rogers State Prison in Reidsville, Georgia, according to ABC News. He was captured hundreds of miles away, in Kentucky, days later.
In December 2019, Jacques Lamar Walker, 27, was mistakenly released from prison in Manassas City, Virginia. He had been awaiting trial for a 2016 bank robbery and had been charged with abduction, first offense use of firearm in a felony and robbery, WTOP revealed. He was re-arrested shortly after his release.
In another incident, Rene Lima-Marin was accidentally released on parole in 2008, National Post reported. He was sentenced to 98 years in prison on charges of multiple robbery, kidnapping and burglary after robbing two video stores at gunpoint. The mistake was only picked up on six years later. During that time, Lima-Marin had managed to secure a job and got married. He was re-incarcerated but later released.
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