A man suspected of a fatal shooting at a Prince George's County nightclub was accidentally released on bond this month after information related to another defendant's bond was mistakenly placed in his court file, prosecutors said Monday.
Authorities have been working to find Frederick Lawrence Scott, 24, of Chillum, since the mistake was discovered Friday, eight days after he was released from Prince George's County's Department of Corrections on $75,000 bond.
"We're actively seeking this guy. We need to get him off the street," county police spokesman Cpl. Mike Rodriguez said Monday.
Authorities initially arrested Mr. Scott in Las Vegas, which means "a good possibility" exists that he has fled the area again, Cpl. Rodriguez said.
Mr. Scott had been held without bond since his arrest in May for a shooting that killed 30-year-old Phillip Watson, of Southeast, outside the Surf Club Live nightclub in March, county police said.
Mr. Scott and Malik Jamar Huff, 24, who remains in custody, were each charged with first-degree murder in connection with the slaying. Police think the shooting stemmed from a fight inside the club that night.
In August, a clerk mistakenly placed information related to a bond for a different man in Mr. Scott's case file, ultimately leading to his release, according to county State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. The other man, Carlton Malik Clark, faced the less-serious charge of possession with intent to distribute a controlled and dangerous substance and was eligible for a $75,000 bond, Maryland Judiciary spokeswoman Angelita Plemmer said.
Though the paperwork had Mr. Clark's name on it, Mr. Scott was released from jail after a bond was posted through the Lexington National bail bond company, according to officials and court records.
"The way the material is attached in the file, it could be difficult to see the name on the worksheet," Ms. Plemmer said.
Mr. Scott was released the same day attorneys in his case held a status conference with Circuit Court Judge Sean D. Wallace, according to online court records. In the hearing, an initial indictment against Mr. Scott was dropped because a second indictment had been filed in order to fix an error.
Bond was not discussed, nor was Mr. Scott present during the Nov. 10 conference, Judge Wallace said.
Subsequently, Mr. Scott was made aware that he was eligible for bond, though court officials are not sure how, and he was released that day.
Mr. Scott's attorney, Thomas Mooney, declined to comment.
The mistaken release has public safety officials reviewing protocol in the court system, officials said.
"We are working in collaboration to fix any procedural issues that resulted in Frederick Scott's release," Ms. Alsobrooks said.
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