Robbins didn't put up a fight when he was found at the residence, some 60 miles outside of Cook County where he was released, last week. “He was in the living room or kitchen area watching TV, taken by total surprise,” said Frank Bilecki, spokesperson for the Cook County Sheriff's Office.
The 44-year-old wore a disguise when outside, rocking a curly wig as he carried groceries into the house, footage of which was caught on surveillance.
Officials transported Robbins from an Indiana prison where he is serving time for murder, to Chicago, to face separate charges. The charges were dropped, and he was allowed to leave. Cook County police held back on informing the public so that Robbins wouldn't find out that they knew of the mix-up. Given the blunder, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart took partial responsibility for what happened.
“We're not ducking the fact we dropped the ball. We made mistakes,” Dart said. “The public deserves much more. We're going to find out what went wrong here.”
Dart went on to blame a “a very archaic system” for not providing the proper paperwork that would've instructed that Robbins be returned back to prison in Indiana.
This isn't the first time an inmate has been let go by mistake in Chicago.
An inmate serving time for manslaughter in Mississippi was transferred to the Windy City in 2009, and let go after charges filed against him for not registering as a s-x offender, were dropped. He turned himself in days later.
Unlike the offender a few years ago, Robbins didn't appear to have been ready to give himself up, but he also wasn't planning on running. An assistant public defender insists that Robbins was not attempting to flee, but officials in Indiana believe that he would have turned back to crime. “We are grateful that law enforcement caught him before he committed another crime,” said Indiana Department of Corrections spokesman, Doug Garrison.
In 2002, Robbins shot a man who intervened in an argument he was having with his wife. According to witnesses the victim told Robbins that he shouldn't hit his spouse, prompting him to go to his car, get a gun, and shoot him in the chest.
Photo: Cook County Sheriff's Office