Murderer Freed by Accident Is Caught—While Watching TV

Steven Robbins back in jail in Indiana

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 2, 2013 12:21 PM CST

(Newser) – Talk about your anticlimactic fugitive hunts: A convicted murder who walked out of jail scot-free because of a bureaucratic mistake ended up at a buddy's house watching TV. Now Steven Robbins is back in custody after two days on the lam and a recapture that was "without incident," reports the Chicago Tribune. "They caught him totally off-guard," says a police spokesman.

Robbins is serving 60 years in Indiana for murder, but he was taken to the Cook County Jail in Chicago last week to dispense with a separate case. When court proceedings were over, authorities didn't realize Robbins was supposed to go back to Indiana. Instead, they gave him clothes from Goodwill, probably some bus fare, and sent him on his merry way. The Cook County sheriff is taking the blame, but he says an archaic record-keeping system—it's still all paper—didn't help.

This photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office shows Steven L. Robbins.
This photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office shows Steven L. Robbins.   (AP Photo/Cook County Sheriff's Office)
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