(NewsNation) — Investigators arrested the girlfriend of a murder suspect who was mistakenly released from a jail in Indiana earlier this month. Prison expert Anthony Gangi said the arrest is “not a shock.”
Kevin Mason, 28, was released from the Marion County Adult Detention Center on Sept. 13 due to a faulty records review performed by inmate clerks, the sheriff’s office said. He is accused of fatally shooting a man two years ago in Minnesota.
Wednesday, Mason’s girlfriend was taken into custody on one count of assisting a criminal. According to authorities, she was the first person Mason called upon his accidental release.
“This to me is not a shock because if he was released erroneously, then he would have probably been notified of the release and was able to have time to communicate with this loved one,” Gangi said during an appearance on “NewsNation Now.”
During this point in the manhunt, Gangi said it’s considered an “erroneous release,” but it could be escalated to an escape classification.
“This would be known as an erroneous release. It wouldn’t be considered an escape unless there was some level of corruption behind the scenes from one of the workers. At this point, it’s an erroneous release,” Gangi said, later adding: “If he’s not coming back in even though it’s an erroneous release, it could shift to an escape now because of his unwillingness to return.”
Questions remain about how Mason’s release happened, especially for Gangi.
“There’s always going to be direct oversight into anybody who is doing the release process. One is to keep it objective, but to also make sure that if there are errors, you have all the oversights in places so an erroneous release like this doesn’t happen,” Gangi said. “So my question is, who are the signatures (from)? Is it just one employee that’s just able to sign off and then once that sign off is made, they’re identified and released by the custody side or are there multiple signoffs in the process?”
Authorities say there’s been a “round-the-clock” manhunt for Mason since the release. He is described as a 5-foot-9, 205-pound male with a cross tattooed under his right eye.
U.S. marshals are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Mason’s arrest. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS or 911.
NewsNation’s Cassie Buchman and local affiliate WXIN contributed to this report.