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Big Oops: Suspected Murderer Released Due to Clerical Error, Manhunt Underway

Mata-320.jpg
Courtesy LASD
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Talk about a major oops: A "clerical error" resulted in the release of a dangerous felon, and a manhunt is now underway in Los Angeles to find the suspected murderer.Johnny Mata, 32, is "suspected of firing a handgun into a crowd and killing a 34-year-old father in Baldwin Park more than two years ago," notes L.A. Now.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department explains how Mata was set free a month ago:

On April 4, 2013, Inmate Johnny Mata was released from the Sheriff’s Inmate processing unit (IRC) Inmate Reception Center, in downtown Los Angeles. Mata’s release should not have occurred because a murder charge had been filed by the District Attorney and a processing clerk had not yet entered it as a “hold” on inmate Mata.

Err, so why are we just hearing about this in May? "The delay in reporting the mistaken release was not due to embarrassment over the error," says the LASD, according to MyFoxLA. Apparently, detectives were conducting an active search for Mata, and only now have turned to the public to seek help in locating the suspect.