Rolando Correa, 22, was fatally shot during a home invasion in Gary, Ind., in December 2013. Cherry, 21, was charged with his murder. Badly wounded, he was taken to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn.
In February 2014, Cherry checked himself out of the hospital. He was never under police guard.
Lourdes deJesus Correa, Rolando's mother, called Gary police.
"You guys charged him for murder and all this in December. Why wasn't he handcuffed? Why didn't you have a police officer at the door waiting for him to get released? 'Well ma'am you can't put the blame on us. We can't have a cop there 24-7. This is not "Law and Order" what you watch on TV," Mrs. Correa said.
The Gary Police Department acknowledged Tuesday that the protocol would have been to formally ask the Cook County Sheriff's Office to watch over Cherry in the hospital. That wasn't done.
"Unfortunately, our investigators assumed because he was unconscious that the hospital would give the detective a call before he was released," Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram said.
That call did not happen. Advocate Christ Medical Center Spokesman Mike Maggio said the hospital has no police powers and that if a patient is charged with a serious offense, an officer is typically posted at the room.
None of it sits well with Mrs. Correa.
"It's like our whole family is falling apart due to this. We are falling apart," Mrs. Correa said. "Please I just want justice for my son. For my family. That's all I want."
This story was reported by WLS-TV, KTRK's sister station in Chicago.