Murder suspect mistakenly released captured after 2-week manhunt

Kevin Mason was apprehended in St. Paul, Minnesota.

September 27, 2023, 4:58 PM

A murder suspect who was accidentally released from an Indiana jail due to a clerical error has been apprehended following a two-week manhunt, authorities said.

Kevin Mason, 28, was initially arrested on Sept. 11 in connection with a 2021 murder in Minneapolis. He was mistakenly released from the Adult Detention Center in Indianapolis two days later due to a "faulty records review by civilian staff," the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

Investigators determined that he left the Indianapolis area the night of his release, with the search expanding into multiple cities.

He was ultimately apprehended at a home in St. Paul, Minnesota, around 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service said. The U.S. Marshals North Star Fugitive Task Force, Dakota County Sheriff’s SWAT and the Minnesota Department of Corrections were involved in the arrest.

"The U.S. Marshals attained a body-only search warrant for a South St. Paul residence in advance after information and surveillance led task force members to believe Mason was inside," the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement.

He was taken into custody without incident.

"I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and congratulations to the USMS for concluding this manhunt and safely bringing Mason back into custody," Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestal said in a statement. "Our federal partners have kept us informed throughout the entire process. We are truly thankful for their assistance and wide resources -- most specifically, their task force partnerships with local law enforcement agencies that have allowed them to pursue Kevin Mason throughout the country."

Mason was arrested on Sept. 11 and mistakenly released around 11:05 a.m. ET on Sept. 13, according to Forestal. Authorities became aware of his release several hours later, around 5:30 p.m., he said.

Investigators learned he called for a ride later that night and his girlfriend, Desiree Oliver, picked him up near the jail, Forestal said.

Oliver obtained a new cellphone, "the deceptive type of behavior we'd expect from somebody when they're assisting a criminal," Forestal said during a press briefing on Sept. 20. She also purchased men's underwear, a travel kit and men's slippers from a Walmart, he said.

PHOTO: This photo provided by Marion County Sheriff's Office shows Kevin Mason. Wanted for a 2021 killing in Minnesota, Mason, was mistakenly released from jail in Indianapolis last week.
This photo provided by Marion County Sheriff's Office shows Kevin Mason.
Marion County Sheriff's Office via AP

Investigators covertly tracked her actions, instead of going public with the search for the suspect, before arresting her on Sept. 20 on the charge of assisting a criminal, the sheriff said.

Oliver was formally charged with assisting a criminal on Monday. She was released from custody on Wednesday and is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 29 for a pre-trial conference, online court records show.

Mason will not be charged in Indianapolis, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.

He is accused of fatally shooting Dontevius Catchings, 29, in the parking lot of a Minneapolis church in June 2021 during a funeral service. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged him with murder in the second degree and firearms possession following the shooting. He also had an active warrant for a parole violation out of Minnesota at the time of his release.

The U.S. Marshals Service was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Mason's capture.

Two Marion County Sheriff's Office employees were terminated due to Mason's release, the sheriff's office said.