N.J. jail accidentally frees murder suspect

/ Source: The Associated Press

A double-murder suspect was mistakenly released from jail after posting $200 bail, and authorities were searching for him Wednesday.

A series of “clerical errors” were blamed for Dontay Brannon’s release on Monday, Mercer County spokeswoman Julie Willmot said. The error was discovered the next day, and police started their hunt.

“We’re investigating why, even with all of these fail-safe measures in place, this person was released,” she said, adding that several people were required to sign off on his discharge.

Brannon, 19, is charged with murder in the shooting deaths of two people in November in Trenton and had been held at the Mercer County Correctional Center since March.

Brannon also faces attempted murder charges in another shooting, also in November, that paralyzed a Trenton man from the waist down, said Angelo Onofri, spokesman for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Monday, he was taken to Hamilton police headquarters to face an unrelated burglary charge when a family member posted his bail, Willmot said.

“At least four professional records staff, including the parole person, overlooked or did not thoroughly review his file, so internal affairs is investigating why that happened,” Willmot said.