CHICAGO – A convicted murderer from Indiana who was mistakenly released after a Chicago court appearance was back in custody Saturday after authorities tracked him down at a house in southern Illinois about 60 miles away.
Steven L. Robbins, 44, was rearrested late Friday night without incident in Kankakee, the Cook County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. Although the details of his capture weren’t immediately released, officials said they used various leads and interviews with friends and family members at police headquarters to locate him.
The reason Robbins was able to escape in the first place, Illinois officials acknowledged, was because they lost paperwork directing them to return him to Indiana.
Robbins was serving a 60-year sentence for murder in Indiana and was escorted by Cook County sheriff’s deputies to Chicago this week for a court appearance in a separate case involving drug and armed violence charges — a case that had actually been dismissed in 2007.
After appearing before two Cook County Circuit Court judges, Robbins was taken to a jail on Chicago’s South Side. He was released hours later, instead of being sent back to Indiana to continue his murder sentence. The public was not alerted that he was on the loose for about 24 hours.
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