Chicago, IL – Authorities report as of Wednesday evening, a 44-year-old convicted Indiana murderer, Steven L. Robbins, was mistakenly released from custody in Chicago’s Cook County Jail.
Robbins was serving a 60-year prison sentence in Indiana from a 2002 murder and weapons conviction when he was transferred to Chicago. He was sent to Cook County Circuit Court on Tuesday to face 1992 criminal charges involving armed violence and drugs. The charges were dismissed in a 2007 hearing, but he was still required to appear in court.
Robbins, convicted on a 2002 fatal shooting of 24-year-old Kentucky man, Richard Melton, was allowed to walk out of jail Wednesday evening. Both Illinois and Indiana issued arrest warrants for Robbins after officials realized, the following morning, he was missing. Computer records showed he’d been released instead of detained for return to Indiana. The public was not immediately notified.
How Robbins managed to get released is being thoroughly investigated by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. It may have been a processing mistake regarding his custody paperwork. Officials disclosed in a news release:
“For reasons yet unknown, the offender was released by Illinois authorities without being held for return (to Indiana).”
Robbins started serving his 60-year sentence in October 2004. His earliest projected parole date would have been June 29, 2029.
Robbins ex-wife, Nicole Robbins, was contacted and asked if she’d seen or heard from him.
“He was mistakenly released? I haven’t heard from him. I don’t know where he is.”
Officials in both states are asking for the public’s help to apprehend him. Robbins has relatives in Gary and Bloomington. Robbins is described as a black male, five feet five inches tall, and 190 pounds. He has a tattoo on the right side of his neck that reads “Nicole.” Anyone with information on Robbins’ whereabouts is asked to call 708-865-4915.