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After three weeks on the run, murder defendant wrongly released from jail is caught in Cypress

A squad of deputy U.S. marshals, police officers and sheriff’s deputies Monday apprehended a man who three weeks earlier was erroneously released from a Los Angeles County Jail, where he was being held on a murder charge, authorities said.

Steven Manzo, charged with gunning down a man in Long Beach in 2018, was discharged from a county jail in Downtown Los Angeles on March 9, with the stated reason being his case was dismissed, booking records show.

Manzo’s release, which prompted a wide-ranging manhunt and led law enforcement officials to shut down the 101 Freeway at the height of rush hour, was believed to have been caused by a clerical error following his arraignment in a Long Beach courtroom.

A deputy district attorney had dismissed the case against Manzo before refiling it, a procedural move done because the defendant hadn’t had a preliminary hearing in a timely manner, officials previously told The Times.

After being released, Manzo eluded a police dragnet and remained a fugitive for three weeks.

The various law enforcement agencies involved in his prosecution and jailing, meanwhile, deflected blame and directed reporters’ questions about his release to other agencies. Officials for the Los Angeles County courts have not said publicly what, if any, mistake was made by any employee of the courts system.

Manzo was apprehended after sheriff’s deputies, Long Beach police officers and investigators assigned to a U.S. Marshals task force spotted the 24-year-old entering a gray Nissan Sentra in Buena Park, the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Authorities followed the car to Cypress, where, along with officers from the Cypress Police Department, they pulled over the vehicle and arrested Manzo without incident, the department said.

The Sheriff’s Department published video of the arrest, which shows the Sentra parked near stacks of tires in front of what appears to be an auto repair shop. Manzo, seated in a rear passenger seat, steps out of the car and kneels toward the ground as four officers approach with their weapons drawn.

Officers at the scene also arrested Yasmeen Arellano, a resident of Hawaiian Gardens, on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact, said Brandon Fahey, a spokesman for the Long Beach police.

Police expect to bring a case against Arellano, 22, to county prosecutors this week for filing consideration, Fahey said. In the meantime, she was being held at Long Beach City Jail on $1-million bail.

Manzo was booked at the same jail with bail set at $4.09 million, Fahey said. He is charged with the murder of Salvador Corrales, 24, who was found fatally wounded in his car on July 26, 2018.

Times staff writer James Queally contributed to this report.

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