- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Maryland’s Republican candidate for governor, Larry Hogan, is taking swipes at his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, over the mistaken release of a murder suspect from a Baltimore detention facility over the weekend.

Inmate Rodriquez Purnell was mistakenly released from the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center in Baltimore Friday when “release procedures were not followed according to policy,” according to the state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Purnell remains at large. He was awaiting trial in last year’s fatal shooting of 27-year-old Terrance Rheubottom in Baltimore.

Mr. Hogan drew parallels between Purnell’s mistaken release and the widespread gang problems uncovered last year at the Baltimore City Detention Center, a state-run facility under the control of the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley.

“The lives and safety of Marylanders are once again at risk because of a colossal management failure in an O’Malley-Brown Administration agency,” Mr. Hogan said in a statement issued Tuesday. “How many examples do overtaxed Marylanders need that Anthony Brown lacks the management and leadership skills necessary to run our state government?”

A spokesman for Mr. Brown did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services said it was not until a citizen reported Sunday that Purnell was out that the facility noticed and began an investigation into how he was released.

Mr. Purnell was not considered missing during weekend inmate counts because it was believed he had been released properly. He had not escaped or become unaccounted for,” the agency said in a statement issued Tuesday.

The center is a state-run facility separate from the Baltimore City Detention Center that can hold up to 800 inmates. Its population includes parole violators and inmates assigned to disciplinary or administrative segregation, according to The Baltimore Sun.

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