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Attempted murder suspect freed from Rikers Island in court clerk error — second screw up in a week



A glaring error from a Bronx court clerk mistakenly freed a shooting suspect from Rikers Island, the Daily News has learned — less than a week after an epic series of screw-ups led to the accidental release of a Brooklyn murder suspect.

Nikim Meekins, 22, was arrested March 10 for attempted murder and was supposed to be held on $300,000 bond, the Bronx District Attorney confirms.

But Rikers Island officials set him loose Monday evening after a Bronx Criminal Court clerk mistakenly marked him for release without bail, court officials said.

“Based on the documentation provided by the courts, the release from custody was proper and in accordance with our policy,” Peter Thorne, a spokesman for the Correction Department, told the Daily News.

This file photo shows Rikers Island, New York's biggest lockup.
This file photo shows Rikers Island, New York’s biggest lockup. (Seth Wenig/AP)

A Bronx judge, realizing the mistake, issued a warrant for him on the attempted murder case Thursday and the NYPD is looking for Meekins, who is due back in court Monday..

The latest mix up happened due to a second case Meekins is facing, for reckless endangerment, on top of the attempted murder charge. He allegedly shot a gun at two people on the street but failed to hit them, on Aug. 30, a source told the Daily News.

The attempted murder case stemmed from a Nov. 3 incident in which Meekins and two other men approached a car and one of the three whipped out a gun and opened fire, a police source said. The victim was blasted in the hand and top of the head, though it was not clear if Meekins fired the gun, according to the source.

Rikers Island officials set Meekins loose Monday evening after a Bronx Criminal Court clerk mistakenly marked him for release without bail, court officials said.
Rikers Island officials set Meekins loose Monday evening after a Bronx Criminal Court clerk mistakenly marked him for release without bail, court officials said. (Todd Maisel/New York Daily News)

On Monday, prosecutors asked the judge to lower his bail from $30,000 bond to $1 in the reckless endangerment case — but did not ask for any change to the $300,000 bond in the attempted murder case.

A clerk, while noting down that the judge approved the new $1 bail, somehow mistakenly indicated that the suspect had been ordered released on his own recognizance — released without bail — —on the attempted murder charge.

“The clerk annotated the paper work as $1 bail on the gun case correctly but mistakenly indicated ROR on the attempted murder case,” said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration. “We will be addressing the clerical error from a personnel and training perspective.”

Chalfen added it was a “serious mistake” and said discipline is “yet to be determined.” He declined to give the name of the clerk.

The release comes as police and Correction Department officials continue their hunt for alleged murderer Christopher Buggs, who was sprung early last Tuesday after a clerical error.

The release comes as police and Correction Department officials continue their hunt for alleged murderer Christopher Buggs, pictured, who was sprung early last Tuesday after a clerical error.
The release comes as police and Correction Department officials continue their hunt for alleged murderer Christopher Buggs, pictured, who was sprung early last Tuesday after a clerical error. (NYPD)

Buggs, 26, was listed as eligible for release on “time served” on a still-pending charge of second-degree murder for a 2018 shooting at a Brooklyn deli.

He had recently got hit with a contempt of court charge after telling a Brooklyn judge to “suck my d–k,” when the judge declined to release him on bail in the murder case. After Buggs served 30 days on the minor contempt charge he was accidentally released despite the murder case still hanging over him.

The post Attempted murder suspect freed from Rikers Island in court clerk error — second screw up in a week appeared first on Lansing Daily.



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