Authorities Accidentally Released, Then Recaptured a Baltimore Murder Suspect on Saturday

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Baltimore City Men’s Jail (via Creative Commons)

Last August, Baltimore police made the city safer by taking a 21-year-old man they dubbed the city’s “No. 1 trigger puller” off the streets. This past weekend, that same suspect was mistakenly let out of jail for the better part of a day due to an error by corrections officers.

WBAL first reported Montana Barronette, who was arrested during the summer on murder, assault and other charges stemming from a May 2014 killing, was briefly released from a Baltimore jail early Saturday morning. He had been detained without bail since Aug. 22, court records show.

Montana Barronette, 21, Courtesy BPD

However, Barronette was “erroneously released” on Saturday at 3 a.m, according to a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. The spokesman said the mistake occurred after the FBI indicted Barronette on federal charges. To fully charge him, the State of Maryland must drop its charges, per protocol, he said. Apparently, two Central Booking employees released him because they were unaware the FBI had indicted Barronette and had a detainer on him. Both employees have since been suspended.

The good news is that he wasn’t out for long. Federal agents caught up with him in Reisterstown around 6:40 p.m. on Saturday. He’s been transported back downtown to the high-security Chesapeake Detention Facility, located across the street from Central Booking.

“Though erroneous releases are rare, we’re taking the matter very seriously and our department investigation is continuing to ensure it doesn’t happen,” the corrections department spokesman said.

A Baltimore Police Department spokesman said police don’t have any evidence linking Barronette to any crimes committed during the time when he was released.

Police said at the time of his original capture during the summer that he was linked to up to a dozen murders in the city, and that he had ties to the powerful Black Guerrilla Family gang.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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1 COMMENT

  1. ?? In jail since the summer …and ‘released’ at 3:00AM on a Saturday night…
    Seems to be more to this story.

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