US

Illegal Alien in Jail on Murder Charge Released Due to ‘Clerical Error’

By Zachary Stieber

An illegal alien has been released from a North Carolina jail due to a clerical error, according to prosecutors.

Sergio Coello-Perez, a 17-year-old alien from Mexico, was released from the Mecklenburg County Jail on Dec. 27 after being held for seven months.

He was released after submitting a written promise to appear in court and to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and did not have to post bail.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office recently pulled out of an immigration screening program amid a trend of jails declining to work with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Through the program, ICE receives information about illegal alien defendants and is ready to deport them when they’re released from prison.

Just a day after the release, Coelle-Perez was booked back into the jail. Prosecutors obtained a court order for his arrest “to correct a clerical error,” reported WBTV.

The alien, who was charged with murder in May, was out for 31 hours before the error was corrected.

A spokesperson for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the “ICE hold was lifted” but, she claimed, “that’s not why Coello-Perez was released.”

Bail bondsman Chad Lewis said that in his 15-year career, he’s never seen anything like an accused murderer being released.

“I think it’s ridiculous that somebody took somebody’s life allegedly and then walks out of jail on their own recognizance,” Lewis told WCNC. “I don’t think it’s fair to the victim, I don’t think it’s fair to the victim’s family, I don’t think it’s fair to the justice system.”

Jason Cunningham, another bail bondsman, said he thinks the release was due to the sheriff’s office ending its partnership with ICE.

ICE officer
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent detains a convicted criminal alien in Los Angeles on Oct. 14, 2015. (John Moore/Getty Images)

“When the new sheriff signed the new policy to release the [immigrant], his immigration hold got released,” Cunningham said. “I think it’s insane someone charged with first-degree murder walks out of jail with a written promise.”

The allegedly mistaken release comes as a sheriff in California blamed the murder of a police officer by an illegal alien on the state’s sanctuary law.

“We can’t ignore the fact that this could have been preventable,” Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson told reporters, asking why the state was “providing sanctuary for criminals (and) gang members.”

“It’s a conversation we need to have,” he said.

In that case, seven other illegal aliens were arrested for allegedly working together to lie to investigators to try to allow the accused murderer time to flee to Mexico.

Homeowner Murdered

Police officials said that Coello-Perez and another male went to a house in May and stole a number of items before returning at a later time to try to steal a car.

Nicholas Boger, the homeowner, went outside, and the suspects shot him to death.

Boger’s niece told WSOC that her uncle loved life and was a joy to be around.

“Since I first met him he’s just been a stand-up guy,” Chrissy Boger said.

She said that the death of a loved one was very hard.

“Each day, each hour, each minute is definitely hard,” Boger said. “Just trying to make sure that I am keeping my composure.”