INDIANAPOLIS — As the manhunt for Kevin Mason caught the attention of much of the Midwest, a second Marion County Jail inmate that was mistakenly released was also on the run.
Toriano Hellams, 41, was sentenced on Sept. 5, 2023 to two years in prison after pleading guilty to Disarming a Law Enforcement Officer and Battery Causing Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Official.
However, on the very day of his sentencing, Hellams was released from the Marion County Jail.
According to court documents, Hellams was sentenced after entering a plea agreement from an incident in which he was revived from an overdose and then assaulted an officer by pulling and twisting on his testicles.
According to the Marion County Jail, Hellams was "erroneously" released from custody. When they realized this happened, they applied for a warrant to have Hellams brought back into custody.
Marion County Court Administrator Emily VanOsdol explained what led to Hellams release.
When a person is booked in jail, the suspect is assigned a "Gallery Number" by the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Typically, the gallery assigned stays with a person forever.
Hellams had multiple cases open against him and was mistakenly given a second gallery number.
VanOsdol said for some reason, Hellams was assigned two different gallery numbers for his two separate cases.
When Hellams signed a plea agreement, his second case was dismissed. He was released under the "gallery number" assigned to that case that was dismissed.
Hellams was apprehended under the warrant for his arrest after more than two weeks.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office released the following statement regarding Hellams' case:
As stated previously, the Sheriff’s Office has referred the case of Toriano Hellams’ release to the Marion County Identity Group. This is a multi-agency issue, and it will take a working group of every Community Justice partner to identify and dissect if and where an error occurred in any of our individual systems. This system is the check-and-balances of all identity-related discrepancies, such as the release of Mr. Hellams. A total examination of the continuation of the gallery number system will also be considered by the group.