Family turned in aggravated assault inmate mistakenly released from Harris Co. Jail, deputies say

Harris County Sheriff's Office is conducting an internal investigation to figure out if any policies or procedures were violated.

Charly Edsitty Image
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Harris Co. inmate mistakenly released was turned in by family: HCSO
Officials said the man, convicted last week of shooting his wife, was taken back into custody near Hobby Airport after family members called deputies.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An inmate who was mistakenly let out of the Harris County Jail on Tuesday is back in custody after his family reportedly turned him in to authorities.

The 61-year-old was supposed to be headed to prison, but ended up on the streets, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Marcelo Perez Campos was convicted of aggravated assault last week after he shot his wife multiple times during an incident that happened in February 2021, according to deputies.

The woman survived, and Campos was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Inmate convicted of aggravated assault released from Harris Co. Jail due to error, authorities say

A clerical error allowed for the release of a convicted inmate from the Harris County Jail. Marcelo Perez Campos was released by mistake on Feb. 28.

The man was supposed to be transferred to a prison, but on Tuesday, he was somehow released from custody and was missing.

ABC13 reached out to HCSO regarding the release of Campos, and the department shared this statement:

"Due to an apparent clerical error, Campos was inadvertently released on Tuesday, February 28, 2023."

In an update on Thursday, the sheriff's office said a family member called deputies to turn him in after he was mistakenly released. Officials do not believe he had plans to flee since he reportedly has no money and no car.

Deputies said Campos' family was not willing to help him and were cooperative with authorities once they realized he has been released. He was taken into custody Telephone Road and Airport Boulevard near Hobby Airport.

Campos is reportedly a Cuban national with ties to Florida.

In total, deputies said he was missing for about 24 hours.

ABC13 spoke to the executive director of The Bridge over Troubled Waters -- a local organization supporting survivors of domestic violence. She says this mistake must've been terrifying for the wife who was shot.

"I'm sure she is definitely not getting any sleep tonight because she doesn't know where he is. And that is a tremendous fear for survivors -- the unknown," Olivia Rivers said. "I feel like when it comes to victims of domestic and sexual violence, the justice system only has two responsibilities: offender accountability and victim safety. And both of those things have fallen through the cracks with this case."

HCSO is conducting an internal investigation to figure out if any policies or procedures were violated. The Office of Inspector General is looking into a timeline of what happened, specifically the hours leading up to when Campos was called to be released. Officials are also reviewing tapes and correspondence to get a better idea of what went wrong.

The Harris County Jail was already under fire over issues including overcrowding, understaffing, and general health and wellness among inmates.

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