INDIANAPOLIS – A man facing a murder charge was mistakenly released earlier this month from the Adult Detention Center by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office due to a records-keeping error. Nine days after the mistaken release, authorities continue to ask for the public’s help in finding him, according to reports.
Kevin Mason, 28, was wanted on three Minnesota warrants, including murder in connection with a 2021 shooting in Minneapolis. He was arrested Sept. 11 in Indianapolis, but details surrounding the arrest were not immediately provided, IndyStar reported. Nevertheless, Mason was carelessly released two days later on Sept. 13, “due to a faulty review by staff.”
Two Marion County Sheriff’s Office employees have been terminated in connection with Mason’s release, the sheriff’s office confirmed.
The sheriff’s office found out about his release within hours but intentionally withheld the information from the public for six days in an effort to keep a “tactical advantage,” they said.
“I want to reassure the public that a round-the-clock manhunt has been underway ever since,” said Col. James Martin with the sheriff’s office.
Law enforcement authorities in Indiana have expanded the search for Mason, as more than 100 officers from multiple agencies are now aiding the manhunt, Fox News Digital reported.
Col. Martin said during a press briefing Thursday afternoon that officials are pursuing “leads outside of Indianapolis to include parallel investigations currently underway within other cities.”
“Our plan is to look throughout the city [Indianapolis] with a uniformed presence and make it uncomfortable for anybody who might be keeping him,” added Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal, according to IndyStar. “So if somebody wants to get him out of their house and happy to sit him on the front porch, we’ll come by, because when we knock, we’re not going to knock the way we usually do.”
On Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Marshals Service announced a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Mason’s arrest, while describing him as “armed and dangerous.”
Mason is accused of shooting and killing Dontevius A. Catchings, 29, in the Shiloh Temple parking lot in Minneapolis after the funeral of a mutual friend, according to the Star Tribune.
One person attending the funeral told police that Mason and Catchings were longtime friends, but they got into a fistfight over Mason refusing to return a gun to Catchings, the news outlet reported. The fight turned into a deadly shooting.
On Wednesday, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Mason’s girlfriend, Desiree Oliver, 29, a nurse working in Carmel, on charges of assisting a criminal, a Level 5 felony, the IndyStar reported.
Oliver picked Mason up in her car on Sept. 13, shortly after his inadvertent release from custody, Forestal said, then obtained a new cell phone and drove to a Walmart on North Keystone where she purchased men’s clothing and toiletries. Investigators kept covert tabs on Oliver, hoping she would lead them to Mason.
According to the sheriff, Oliver traveled to the area of Southport and Emerson Avenue where he believes Mason might be found.
“If anybody saw her check into a hotel down in that area, she might be hiding Kevin Mason,” Forestal said on Wednesday. “She has not cooperated. We arrested her today at 2 o’clock.”