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Mistakenly Freed Suspect in Drive-By Slaying Turns Himself In

Times Staff Writer

A youth allegedly involved in a fatal drive-by shooting in Southeast San Diego and mistakenly freed from County Jail surrendered to authorities at Juvenile Hall on Friday evening.

Michael Ray Tutson, 18, walked out of the downtown jail at 11 p.m. Monday, released after four days because no criminal complaint had been filed against him within the required time, according to a jail clerk.

Tutson, who is suspected of shooting a youth he thought was a rival gang member Aug. 7, two hours before his 18th birthday, was supposed to have been transferred to Juvenile Hall, not released, according to Steve Casey, spokesman for Dist. Atty. Edwin Miller.

“Our deputy thinks he did everything he could, stopping short of pinning a note on the defendant’s chest saying, ‘Please take me to Juvenile Hall,’ ” Casey said Friday.

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Because of a “failed back-up system,” Tutson was freed because jail authorities were unaware that a complaint had been filed in Juvenile Court, where Tutson was scheduled to be transferred on Tuesday, Casey said.

“Normally, police call the district attorney even in the middle of the night before they release someone like Tutson,” Casey said.

Tutson, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in at the juvenile detention facility at 5:40 p.m. Friday and will remain there, a Juvenile Hall supervisor said.

The youth, a Crips gang member, police said, was arrested in connection with the drive-by shooting of Kurt Perone, 24, of Mission Hills. Police said Tutson mistook Perone for a rival gang member who had wounded a Crips member in a drive-by shooting the night before.

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Perone was sitting in his pickup truck at a street corner in Southeast San Diego when he was shot, police said.


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