Steven L. Robbins was mistakenly released from the Cook County Jail on Wednesday. (Terrence Antonio James/ Chicago Tribune)
Convicted murderer, Steven Robbins, 44, was serving 60 years for murder in Indiana when he was accidentally released from Chicago’s Cook County jail after a local charge was dismissed, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“We let people down, no mistake about it,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said in an interview at sheriff’s offices in Maywood. “Our office did not operate the way it should have, clearly.”
Robbins was checked out of an Indiana prison to appear in a Chicago court for an armed robbery and drug possession case. But those charges had been dismissed in 1992, so there was no need for Robbins to be in Chicago in the first place.
“We were able to get an extradition warrant on a case that didn’t exist,” Dart said. “That’s the first problem.”
Judge Rickey Jones, who ordered Robbins’ Illinois case dismissed on Wednesday, made sure to write on his paperwork that the release was for “this case only.”
“It sounds almost too simple to say, but when someone comes and picks up a prisoner, they acknowledge they will bring him back,” said Doug Garrison, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Corrections. “There are certain things they have to provide us, they do their business with him and then they give him back. Obviously in this case, for whatever reason, they didn’t give him back.”
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Robbins was given clothes and bus fare before his release. There is a currently a manhunt to put him back behind bars.
The FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and Cook County Crimestoppers have offered a$12,000 as a reward for information leading to Robbins’ arrest.