Los Angeles Murder Suspect Mistakenly Freed From Jail, Authorities Say

Steven Lawrence Wright was awaiting trial for a gang-related murder.

LOS ANGELES, Feb 1 (Reuters) - A man awaiting trial for a gang-related murder was mistakenly released from a Southern California jail and was being sought by authorities, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said on Monday.

Steven Lawrence Wright, 37, was freed from the facility around noon on Saturday and the mistake was not noticed until late on Sunday, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

"The Sheriff's Department takes this matter very seriously and is fully engaged with returning Inmate Wright to custody," the statement said.

An investigation into the erroneous release would be conducted, it said.

Wright was arrested in April 2011 and was being held pending trial for a gang-related murder in the city of Pasadena in January 2011, the statement said.

When he was mistakenly released on Saturday, Wright was being held at county's Inmate Reception Center, the primary intake and release facility for male inmates in the Los Angeles County jail system.


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