Manhunt underway for inmate released from detention center by mistake

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department at 798-7000 or 911

                            Manhunt underway for inmate released from detention center by mistake
(Metropolitan Detention Center)

The authorities in New Mexico have launched a manhunt to find an inmate who was released from prison by accident. County officials have said that the inmate had managed to swap identification wristbands with his cellmates. 27-year-old Duwin Perez-Cordova was held on a few charges that include attempted felony murder, shooting at or from a motor vehicle, and shooting at an occupied building. He was accidentally released on June 10.

Perez-Cordova had been sharing a cell with 23-year-old Edwin Lorenzo Sanchez for almost a month at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Investigators have said that the two inmates had switched their wristband IDs. They also said that Sanchez had given Perez-Cordova his personal information.

Sanchez had been the one who was going to be released on June 10 but the switch happened and the two inmates essentially swapped spots. The detention center then released Perez-Cordova and he was dropped off at a location downtown.

Candace Hopkins, an employee with the detention center, told KOAT, an affiliate of CNN, that before a prisoner is released from the detention center, the staff needs to scan their wristbands and review other information before they are set free.

She said: "Where you were arrested, what you were arrested for, these are details, we believe that Mr. Perez Cordova would have had to give about Mr Sanchez. Our policies and practices are put to the test every day because of that and because of this situation, we do need to take a closer look at them."

According to a news release from the Bernalillo County, the younger inmate, Sanchez, had been charged with conspiracy and assisting with an escape. To find out exactly how Perez-Cordova was released instead of Sanchez, an internal investigation has been launched in the detention center.

The detention center where Perez-Cordova was released from (Bernalillo County Sheriff's Depratment)

The authorities have issued a warning to the public that the escaped convict should be considered armed and dangerous. They have also mentioned that no member of the public should approach him under any circumstance. Perez-Cordova has been in the detention center since 2017 and was also being held at the center on a federal warrant.

Perez-Cordova has multiple tattoos, including a money sign on his elbow and an Impala sign and 'RIP Marcus' on his left arm. He uses several different aliases, including Gilbert/Gilberto Rodriguez, Duwin Perez and Duwin Cordova-Perez.

According to the county, some of the other charges that the convict has against him include aggravated battery, receiving or transferring stolen motor vehicle, trafficking controlled substances, racketeering and conspiracy.

Another famous incident of a convict being mistakenly released from prison early took place on May 16 last year. A man convicted of robbery and kidnapping from suburban Denver, Colorado, was released from prison after he was freed decades before he was supposed to be released. He was then re-incarcerated after the authorities realised they made a mistake.

Rene Lima-Marin had been convicted of multiple robbery, kidnapping, and burglary in 2000. He and another man were put behind bars for robbing two video stores at gunpoint. Lima-Marin was then sentenced to 98 years in jail but he was released by accident on parole in 2008. The man managed to hold down a steady job and even got married by the time the authorities realised what had happened. He was re-incarcerated in 2014.

The decision by the judge on May 16 was the finale of many years of court battles by Lima-Marin so that he could be released again. Carlos Samour Jr, the Chief Arapahoe County District Judge, wrote in a statement that it would be "draconian" to keep the man in prison again.

He wrote: "Although most of Lima-Marin’s sentence remains unserved, he has sufficiently paid his debt to society." The judge also said that Lima-Marin did not know that he was released by accident and that he had already started a family before the authorities realised what happened and put him back in jail.

Judge Samour then asked: "Without the ability to turn back the clock, how does the court dispense justice under such circumstances?" He then slammed the "government’s conscience-shocking deliberate indifference" after it had released a man and then didn't realise for six years that they released the wrong man. The furious judge also added that re-incarcerating the man "would perpetuate a manifest injustice".

The Denver Post was the first publication to report on the mistaken release of Lima-Marin. The Colorado Legislature had approved a nonbinding resolution earlier in May 2017 that urged Governor John Hickenlooperto grant clemency to Lima-Marin.

The second man who was convicted of the robbery-kidnapping with Lima-Marin, Michael Clifton, is still serving his 98 year sentence in prison. 

Anyone with information about Perez-Cordova's whereabouts is asked to call the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department at 798-7000 or 911.