A murderer, accidentally released by Chicago police, has been captured after 52 hours, reports state. Steven Robbins was mistakenly set free by police after a court date, when he should have been sent back to an Indiana prison. Robbins spent his time visiting friends and family in the area.
- (Photo: Courtesy Cook County Sheriff's Office)
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Robbins was taken back into custody on Friday evening, after enjoying some free time with friends and family. He allegedly visited several family members, went grocery shopping and just relaxed before authorities were able to track him down.
"It's like going through this whole thing all over again," Maye Melton told the Sun-Times. Robbins killed her son Rutland when he attempted to break up a fight between Robbins and his wife. "I haven't slept in two nights. I didn't know where he was."
"I just wanted him caught. My child is, I hope, resting in peace, and he was out loose. It really got to me," Melton added.
Robbins was sentenced to 60 years for Melton's murder and was supposed to be returned to the Indiana prison to finish his term. He had to report to court in Chicago to face a drug-related charge, and after appearing before a judge, police mistakenly released him instead of keeping him in custody.
Both Indiana and Illinois police worked together to find Robbins and both states immediately issued arrest warrants for his return. Robbins appeared before a judge before being returned to Indiana and was not charged with attempted escape.
"He was released by the state, by Cook County," assistant public defender Todd Chatman told the press. "They said, 'Bye.' What are you going to do? You've been in prison for 11 years. Are you just going to say, 'Wait a minute, let me back in?' He thought he was being shuffled to a van in Indiana, and next thing he knew, as he was getting through the process of getting into the van, it's out the door."
A relative tipped off police, KCTV reported, and he was arrested without incident in Kankakee, Ill. He had been staying with a woman who didn't know he was supposed to be in prison.
"She had been led to believe by a person who dropped him off, that the defendant had someone threatening him," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart told KCTV.