Crime & Justice

Murder suspect mistakenly released from LA jail; suspect has been missing for a month

Photo by Harvey K via Flickr Creative Commons

Los Angeles County Sheriff's authorities say a man charged with murder was accidentally released from jail last month because of a clerical error.

Sheriff's Capt. Chuck Antuna says 32-year-old Johnny Mata was let out of the downtown Inmate Reception Center April 4.

Antuna said authorities announced the error Friday and sought the public's help after being unable to find Mata the past month.

Antuna said Mata was charged with murder for an alleged gang shooting in Baldwin Park in 2010. However, the inmate was released before a clerk entered a hold for him.

Authorities realized the mistake the next day.

Antuna says that since 2012 the department, which processes 150,000 inmate releases annually, has had seven similar errors.

All those mistakenly released inmates were found.