Los Angeles-area murder suspect released by mistake is recaptured


A Los Angeles-area murder suspect released from jail by mistake almost three weeks ago was recaptured Monday, officials said.

Steven Manzo, 24, was arrested after a traffic stop in Cypress in Orange County, which is southeast of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

His release on March 9 prompted a search that closed a downtown Los Angeles freeway that day. The sheriff's department has said that Manzo's release was not its mistake and it was following a court order for his release.

Manzo, who was arrested in March 2020 and charged in the 2018 fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man in Long Beach, was released from custody after the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said that a case was dismissed for a technical reason and then immediately refiled.

Salvador Corrales was found fatally wounded in a vehicle in Bell Gardens, north of Long Beach, but police have said they believe the two men got into a dispute in Long Beach that led to the shooting.

The district attorney's office said that on March 8, a prosecutor dismissed and refiled the case against Manzo and two other co-defendants because of a timing issue.

Manzo had not been taken from jail to court for that hearing and the two other people, accused in a drug case, refused to waive time so that hearing could be postponed, the office said.

"The next day, the prosecutor became aware that the defendant had been released from custody and alerted law enforcement," the DA's office said earlier this month.

But how exactly the error occurred remained unclear.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is in charge of running the jails, has denied it was to blame. It tweeted an image of what it said was the court order for Manzo's release.

Long Beach is a city in the Los Angeles area in south Los Angeles County.

Manzo was arrested after members of a fugitive task force spotted him getting into a Nissan Sentra with other people in Buena Park, the sheriff's department said.

That Nissan was followed to Cypress, which is near Buena Park, and police there along with fugitive task force members conducted "a high risk traffic stop," the sheriff's department said. The department said that it, the U.S. Marshals Service and Long Beach police worked together in "an intensive search" for Manzo.

Manzo was booked in Long Beach and was being held in lieu of $4 million bail, Long Beach police said.

Yasmeen Arellano, 22, was also arrested and was booked on one count of accessory after the fact, and the case will be presented to the district attorney later this week for consideration, Long Beach police said.

Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporter for NBC News. He covers the Western United States, specializing in crime, courts and homeland security.