In wake of murder suspect's mistaken release, governor pledges more training

HONOLULU, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) – The governor pledged to bolster training for Hawaii jails to prevent another accidental release like the one that happened last week and triggered an hours-long manhunt for a Big Island murder suspect.

“We continuously look for how to improve," Gov. David Ige said, in an interview on HNN Sunrise on Monday. "I’m an engineer by profession and it is about continuous process improvement. We’ve made and I’ve committed more resources to invest in our jails all across the state."

Last week Tuesday, murder suspect Brian Smith was accidentally released from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Two days later, authorities realized their mistake, triggering a manhunt and leaving the Ige administration to explain what went wrong.

The reason for Smith’s accidental release? An apparent misunderstanding of paperwork.

And it's not the first time that HCCC has accidentally released a high-profile suspect onto the streets. In fact, another mistake occurred in February with robbery suspect Anthony Glover. 

In the interview with HNN Sunrise, Ige said he's working to ensure another mistaken release doesn't happen. Ige said he's asked State Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda to investigate what went wrong.

He also said he's invested more money into jails, sending more than $70 million into the system to address overcrowding and other issues.

“Again, we are looking at a professional development for training of sheriffs and other personnel and we continue to make investments in the people and the processes," he said.