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Man Accidentally Released From Jail Now in Custody

July 27, 2018, 8:17 AM HST
* Updated July 27, 1:34 PM
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Update:  The Hawai‘i Police Department reports that shortly after 11 p.m., on Thursday evening, July 26, 2018, Brian Lee Smith, 49-years-old, called police dispatch from a business in the Captain Cook area and requested to turn himself into police. Kona Patrol officers were immediately dispatched.

Smith was located and taken into custody without incident. He had an outstanding bench warrant issued after he failed to appear in court for a hearing on Thursday, July 26.

Smith was transported to the Kona Police cellblock where he remains in lieu of $2,000,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Friday, July 27, in Kona.

Smith was mistakenly released on Tuesday, July 24, from the Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center, (HCCC). Smith had been in custody since June after being charged with the fatal shooting of Thomas Ballesteros Jr.

Police would like to thank the public for their assistance.


Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Carrie Akina at (808) 326-4646 or [email protected].


Original Post: The Hawai‘i Island Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that Brian Smith is in police custody.

Brian Lee Smith. HPD photo.

He is awaiting trial on Murder 1 and 2, as well as firearms charges, including Ownership or Possession of a Firearm, and Carrying a Firearm in the Commission of a Separate Felony.

This information was provided by the authorities. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

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