A Long Beach murder suspect mistakenly released from jail earlier this month was arrested today in Orange County, according to news reports. Steven Manzo, 24, of Hawaiian Gardens was arrested in Cypress during a traffic stop, according to NBC4.
Manzo was released from jail on March 9, with a Long Beach police spokeswoman subsequently saying that it was determined that he “should not have been released.”
Officials and law enforcement agencies have deflected blame for the mistake.
In a statement the day after Manzo was released, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it “did NOT erroneously release a murder suspect yesterday from our custody.”
The sheriff’s department, which runs the county jails, said it received an “order for release” from the court saying the case against Manzo had been dismissed and he must be released.
Court records show the case against Manzo was dismissed on March 8 but the same five charges were immediately refiled under a different case number after a procedural issue forced prosecutors to drop the case.
Prosecutors made the move because Manzo was not transported from jail to court for a hearing scheduled to determine whether there was enough evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
When Manzo’s co-defendants in the case refused to delay the hearing so Manzo could be brought from jail, prosecutors were forced to drop it and refile it under a new case number.
Manzo was arraigned in the new case and held without bail, but it’s unclear if that information was communicated to the sheriff’s department by court staff. A spokesperson for the court previously declined to answer questions on that topic.
“The Court is continuing to review the situation and has no additional comments,” spokeswoman Ann E. Donlan said on March 16. “After our review, the Court will take every necessary measure to assure that this does not happen again.”
After being informed of Manzo’s release, Long Beach police spokeswoman Arantxa Chavarria said her department “contacted LASD to assist with his apprehension. LASD set up a containment perimeter, but they were not able to take him into custody.”
Manzo was arrested and charged a year ago with the July 26, 2018, killing of Salvador Corrales, 24, according to Long Beach police.
Officers found evidence of a shooting but no victim at 9:05 p.m. that night when they were dispatched to a call of shots fired in the 6700 block of Cherry Avenue. Corrales’ body was later found inside a vehicle in the 5800 block of Florence Avenue in Bell Gardens, and evidence linked the shots fired in Long Beach with his death, police said.
Manzo is charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, possession for sale of methamphetamine and sale or transportation of methamphetamine. Two co-defendants, Gabriel Ivan Martinez and Daniel Alberto Cardona, are charged with robbery and drug counts.
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