Suspected murderer Christopher Buggs mistakenly released



An accused murderer was mistakenly released from Rikers Island this week because of a clerical error, according to officials.

Christopher Buggs, 26, was awaiting trial in a 2018 Brooklyn murder when he was released on an unrelated criminal contempt case — for which the judge sentenced him to time served, according to police sources.

The city’s Department of Correction confirmed that an inmate was prematurely released for the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Monday. 

“We are aware of this incident and a full investigation into how this happened is underway,” the department’s deputy commissioner of public information, Peter Thorne, said in a statement.

“Right now we are working with our law enforcement partners to return this‎ individual to custody.”

Cops say Buggs is about 5 feet 5 and 160 pounds. A photo released by police shows him with a scar on his cheek and a dollar-sign tattoo on his neck. 

He was arrested on Feb. 3, 2018, in connection with the slaying of Ernest Brownlee, 55, during a dispute three days earlier on Throop Avenue near Vernon Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, cops said. 

The Rikers Island Prison complex
The Rikers Island prison complex

Brownlee had a rap sheet of his own — he was arrested for murder in 1983, according to police sources. He was sentenced on two counts of first-degree manslaughter, and one attempted murder charge in 1984, state corrections records show. 

He was released in 2008, according to the records.


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