It took two years to arrest 28-year-old Kevin Mason in Indiana on a murder warrant out of Minnesota. But it took only two days for him to regain his freedom after he was mistakenly released from jail due to a clerical error, authorities revealed.
Now, a massive manhunt is underway in Indiana for Mason as authorities say they kept his accidental release quiet for six days to have a "tactical advantage" in finding him.
Mason was arrested in Indianapolis on Sept. 11 on three different warrants in different jurisdictions out of Minnesota.
"One being for homicide, one being for a parole violation, and the other being for a firearms possession," Colonel James Martin with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a press conference Tuesday.
Mason had been charged with second-degree murder in connection with a shooting in June 2021 in the parking lot of the Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis that killed Dontevius Ahmad Catchings, the Minneapolis Police Department previously said. In September 2021, the police department asked for the public's help in locating him and that year he was suspected of possibly being in Florida.
Just two days after his Sept. 11 arrest, he walked out of the Adult Detention Center in Indianapolis.
"On Sept. 12 one of our inmate records clerks thought she was correcting different bookings for Mr. Mason. She removed two of the holds leaving one additional hold for Mr. Mason. The next day on Sept. 13, Ramsey County, out of Minnesota, lifted the last and final hold that we had booked on for Mr. Mason," Martin explained.
"Our clerk that was reviewing it sees three Minnesota holds, didn’t realize what she was doing obviously," Martin added. "It's a critical error, critical mistake. They’re identified very specifically by the originating agency that did it. They have a specific ID number, they’re all different and the case numbers are all different."
That error was not caught before Ramsey County lifted their hold on Mason on a firearms charge. The mistake in Marion County led to two inmate records clerks being terminated from the agency, Martin said.
"This was an error. This should have not happened. Mason should not have been release from out custody. This was discovered shortly after he was released," he said.
An "around-the-clock manhunt has been underway ever since" with Martin saying there's no threat to the public.
He explained that Mason has been suspected to being in Indianapolis all this time since 2021 and it is believed he has people helping him evade arrest.
The U.S. Marshals Task Force and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are aiding in the search for him.
Locals are asked to call Crime Stoppers or 911 with tips or if they see Mason to not approach him.
Martin explained that the authorities kept his release quiet to avoid running Mason further underground, noting that they've been "very close" several times to closing in on him.
"I also want to assure the public we will not rest until he’s captured," Martin said.
Mason is described as being 5-foot-9, weighing 200 pounds, with a cross tattoo under is left eye, SUB tattooed on his chest, with distinctive tattoos on his neck.