Inmate convicted of attempted murder mistakenly freed from city jail

Posted at 7:05 PM, Feb 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-27 18:36:19-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Officials said a clerical error is to blame for the release of an inmate convicted of attempted murder from the Richmond City Jail last week.

Evan Charles Kelsey

Evan Charles Kelsey

The Richmond Sheriff's Office said police are hunting for Evan Charles Kelsey, who was convicted on Jan. 28 of attempted murder, use of a firearm in attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a violent felon.

A jury sentenced Kelsey to 10 years in prison for those crimes.

While official sentencing was scheduled for April, prosecutors nolle prossed other charges Kelsey was facing where he was denied bond.

Officials said because he was convicted on the first set of charges that the additional charges were nolle prossed.

As a result, court documents show Kelsey was released from jail on Feb. 19 because "jail records did not reflect the charges of which the jury convicted defendant."

CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone said it is standard practice for a judge to revoke bond when a jury finds someone guilty and sentences them.

Stone said in this case it appears the bond was never revoked in this instance.

Accordingly, the sheriff's office has to follow the court's order.

"If the bond was not revoked and the defendant was on a PR bond then they must let them go," Stone said. "In fact they can not keep them if they are 'released on a PR bond' on paper."

The sheriff's office also fears Kelsey will retaliate against the woman who testified against him in court.

If you have information that could help police -- or you have seen Kelsey, call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.