Honolulu inmate accidentally released instead of taken to jail
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
It's not an escape, but another inmate is at large after he was accidentally released from custody this week. It is another embarrassing incident involving the state's correctional system and authorities are still trying to figure out how it happened.
Kekoa Courtney, 25, was in jail at Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) accused of felony drug dealing and driving without a license. The State took him to Circuit Court on Wednesday for an 11:30 am hearing. Judge Karen Ahn denied the request for a temporary supervised release. However that afternoon Courtney was accidentally released anyway.
We're told there was a mix up with the paperwork.
After 6:00 that night OCCC called to see if he was going to be returned and the erroneous release was realized.
"On October 22, Kekoa Courtney was mistakenly released from the Circuit Court cellblock, 48 hours prior to another court appearance. How this happened is under administrative investigation. Law enforcement is actively searching for him," said Toni Schwartz, Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer, in a written statement.
The State does not consider Courtney violent, however he has had four temporary restraining orders taken out against him and he's been sentenced to jail time for violating those orders. He's also been ordered to attend domestic violence and substance abuse programs.
Courtney did have a change of plea hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon. His attorney Okechukwu Amadi has spoken with his client who is aware he was not supposed to be released. Amadi tells us he was hoping Courtney would show up today.
In court the Court Clerk said she made three attempts to contact him today but there was no response. Judge Ahn then issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
Once the investigation into his release is complete there could be disciplinary action for those responsible.
Courtney is not expected to be charged with escape since it wasn't his fault he was released.