Gov. Ige’s Statement on Mistaken Release of Pre-Trial Detainee
Gov. David Ige released the following statement regarding the erroneous release of alleged murders suspect Brian Lee Smith:
“I am upset and deeply concerned about the erroneous release of pre-trial detainee Brian Smith. Residents on Hawaiʻi Island have had to deal with the lava emergency and the recent murder of a police officer, and I know this news is another blow.
“Our number one priority right now is your safety, and that means getting the suspect into custody. I assure you that law enforcement agencies are doing everything they can to locate him. I urge all Hawaiʻi residents to remain alert and call 911 if they see or hear something that could help.
“As is standard operating procedure, the department is investigating to determine what led to this error. I have asked Public Safety Department Director Nolan Espinda to personally oversee this investigation and report back to me as information is gathered.”