A Los Angeles-area murder suspect mistakenly released from prison nearly three weeks ago was picked up on Monday, officials said.
Steven Manzo, 24, was arrested after a traffic stop at Cypress in Orange County, southeast of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
His release on March 9 prompted a search that closed a downtown Los Angeles freeway that day. The Sheriff’s Department said Manzo’s release was not his mistake and it was following a court order for his release.
Manzo, who was arrested in March 2020 and charged with the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man in Long Beach in 2018, was released after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said a case had been closed for a technical reason and then immediately passed on.
Salvador Corrales was found fatally injured in a vehicle in Bell Gardens, north of Long Beach, but police said they believed the two had an argument in Long Beach which led to the shooting.
The district attorney’s office said that on March 8, a prosecutor dismissed and remanded the case against Manzo and two other co-defendants over a timing issue.
Manzo had not been taken from prison to court for this hearing and the other two people, accused in a drug case, refused to waive the deadline so that the hearing could be postponed, the office said.
“The next day, the prosecutor learned that the accused had been released and alerted the police,” the prosecutor’s office said earlier this month.
But how exactly the error occurred is unclear.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is responsible for running the prisons, denied that was to blame. This tweeted one image of what he said was the court order for Manzo’s release.
Long Beach is a city in the Los Angeles area, in the south of Los Angeles County.
Manzo was arrested after members of a fugitive task force spotted him boarding a Nissan Sentra with others in Buena Park, the sheriff’s department said.
This Nissan was tracked to Cypress, which is near Buena Park, and police and fleeing task force members carried out a “high-risk traffic stop,” the sheriff’s department said. The department said it, the US Marshals Service and Long Beach Police worked together in “an intensive search” for Manzo.
Manzo was booked in Long Beach and was being held in lieu of $ 4 million bail, Long Beach police said.
Yasmeen Arellano, 22, was also arrested and was placed on an afterthought, and the case will be presented to the district attorney later this week for review, Long Beach police said.
Phil helsel contributed.