Murder suspect accidentally released

July 21, 2009 5:48:09 PM PDT
This was a jail break of a different kind. It was the kind that should never have occurred, but allowed a murder suspect to walk free.

Vetal Bonhomme' aka "Jeromoe" aka "Rome" was released from Westchester County Jail as a result of what corrections officials describe as a disturbing error.

Being held at the Westchester County Jail on second degree murder charges, Bonhomme' had finished serving time for a previous probation violation, officials explained.

When both a booking officer and a booking supervisor, who was supposed to provide backup safeguards, failed to follow strict release protocols, Bonhomme' walked.

"There are redundancies and safeguards put in place and, disappointedly, these individuals, the corrections officer and sergeant did not thoroughly review the documents and information on the computer," Corrections Commissioner Joseph Spano said.

Without posting 175-thousand dollars bail, Bonhomme' walked out of prison last Friday. The mistake wasn't discovered until Sunday when officials received a call from Bonhomme's attorney.

He was taken back into custody by officers at an apartment building in New Rochelle, putting up resistance there and on the way back to jail.

Officials are now intensely reviewing procedures to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"It really sets this department back when we have to participate in an event that potentially compromises public safety," Spano said.

Both corrections employees are senior personnel with 19 years experience each. They are suspended, will face disciplinary charges and are subject to termination.


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