Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reward offered for mistakenly released Indiana killer

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - A reward was offered on Friday for information leading to the capture of a convicted Indiana murderer who was mistakenly released from an Illinois jail as multiple law enforcement agencies sought him in both states.

Officials are not yet certain how the mistake happened but are offering $12,000 for information leading to the capture of Steven Robbins, 44, who was released from a Chicago jail after a court appearance on Tuesday.

"Robbins is considered dangerous," said Sophia Ansari, spokeswoman for Chicago's Cook County Sheriff's Office, adding no one should approach him.

Both the FBI and U.S. Marshals are helping to hunt for the convicted killer.

Robbins was taken to Illinois to face a drug charge that dated back to 1992. When those charges were dropped, he was released rather than taken back to prison in Indiana.

Transporting an offender from Indiana to another state for a court appearance is common, according to Indiana Department of Correction spokeswoman Amy Lanum.

"We send offenders out to court all the time," she said. "A lot of them have pending court cases in other states such as this case."

Robbins, a Gary, Indiana, native, was serving a 60-year sentence for murder and carrying an unlicensed handgun. He went to prison in October 2004 and his earliest release date was June 2029, according to the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Robbins has a tattoo that says "Nicole" on the right side of his neck. He is black, around 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 190 lbs (86 kg).

This latest incident comes a little over a month after two convicted bank robbers escaped from a multistorey federal lockup in Chicago using a rope made of bed sheets tied together, before making their getaway in a taxi.

The two men were both later captured.

(Additional reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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