Murder Suspect Accidentally Released From Jail

Thursday, May 10th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa murder suspect was mistakenly released from jail, and has been on the street for months after attorneys say a judge overlooked the murder charge and set bond for a lesser crime. The suspect is a co-defendant in a murder trial that was supposed to start Thursday; The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports that trial is now postponed until October.

Prosecutors are charging Tracy Courtney with first degree murder for trying to rob and then fatally shooting a man in March of last year. Also accused is Corey Reese, but while Courtney has been in jail awaiting trial, Reese was out on bond due to what attorneys called a "clerical error" at the courthouse.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys called the mistake very rare.

"It's unusual, there are bonds on murder cases from time to time, but it's unusual," said prosecutor Bill Musseman.

"Typically you're held without bond when you're charged with first degree murder, and it's important to note, none of the judges were aware of this, it was actually a clerical error from the beginning and the state, the District Attorney's Office just never pointed it out," defense attorney Kevin Adams said.

Adams believes prosecutors never pointed out the error because he says Reese was told by the District Attorney’s Office he could get a lesser penalty for testifying against the other suspect.

A different judge was notified about the error on Thursday and had Reese taken into custody. Both murder suspects are now behind bars awaiting trial.

Watch the video: Accused Murderer Freed On Clerical Error