Crime - Sacto 911

What happened to prison inmate mistakenly released from Sacramento County Jail last year?

Jonathan Jackson’s bike lies on the road after the 17-year-old cyclist was struck by a car. Alamar Cyril Houston is accused of deliberately striking a group of cyclists.
Jonathan Jackson’s bike lies on the road after the 17-year-old cyclist was struck by a car. Alamar Cyril Houston is accused of deliberately striking a group of cyclists. Special to The Bee

Q: An inmate, Alamar Houston, was allowed to escape from the downtown jail last year. Was he charged with escaping? Where is he now?

Louis, Sacramento

A: Alamar Cyril Houston, a state prison inmate, was mistakenly released from the Sacramento County Main Jail in June 2017.

Houston was in the jail so he could attend court proceedings for vehicle theft and receiving stolen property. He was supposed to be returned to state custody after the court hearing. Instead, when the court case was dismissed, Houston was mistakenly released by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

A sheriff’s spokesman said at the time that, during the intake and booking process, clerical staff failed to flag that Houston needed to return to Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy after the hearing. So when the case was dismissed, jail personnel had him collect his belongings and set him free, according to a story in The Sacramento Bee.

Houston was located a day later in downtown Sacramento, less than a mile from the jail, and returned to prison. Sacramento County Superior Court records available online indicate no charges against Houston as a result of the mistaken release. He currently is incarcerated at California State Prison, Los Angeles County, in Lancaster.

At the time of the Sacramento court appearance, a Yolo County jury had already convicted Houston of multiple felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run causing injury, vehicle theft and reckless evasion from law enforcement officers. The charges stemmed from a daylong crime spree in 2015, when he drove a stolen vehicle into bicyclists on South River Road near West Sacramento. He was sentenced in January 2017 to 35 years in prison.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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