LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a murder suspect who was accidentally released from jail last month.

Johnny Mata, 32, is wanted for the Dec. 24, 2010, murder of 43-year-old David Deanda in Baldwin Park, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said.

Mata is accused of walking up to a group in the 13000 block Francisquito Avenue and firing multiple shots in what has been described as a gang-related shooting.

David Deanda (credit: LA County Sheriff's Dept.)

David Deanda (credit: LA County Sheriff’s Dept.)

Deanda, a certified welder who was studying auto mechanics, was struck in the torso and died on the way to the hospital, detectives said.

Mata was in custody until April 4 of this year when he was mistakenly released from the Sheriff’s Inmate Reception Center, a temporary holding facility, in downtown Los Angeles.

“Mata’s release should not have occurred because a murder charge had been filed by the District Attorney and a processing clerk had not yet entered it as a ‘hold’ on inmate Mata,” spokesperson Nicole Nishida said.

Deanda’s uncle, who only wanted to be identified as “Lewis”, told KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen that Mata should still be locked up.

“That was wrong, very wrong. It was their mistake letting him go.”

Mata is described as a Hispanic man with brown hair and eyes. Mata is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds, officials said.

Anyone with information on Mata’s whereabouts should contact Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives at (323)890-5500.


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