(SALEM, Ore.) — Mark Edward Brown was arrested on drug possession charges last month and released the same day because the jail in Oregon’s Marion County was overcrowded.
Brown, 41, is back in jail Thursday being held without bail because three weeks after walking out of the jail he was charged with murder.
He is accused of shooting and killing Bryan John Lee Knorr, 28, in a Walmart parking lot in Salem on Sept. 3. The shot was fired from his car through an open passenger-side window, according to ABC News Portland affiliate KATU.
Brown was on the street despite having been arrested on Aug. 11 for possession of methamphetamines, according to police. It was his most recent arrest. Brown had other charges pending in court at the time, including forgery and identity theft, court records show.
He was released, however, because the jail was packed.
“The way that the people are released is through a system of evaluating the potential threat to the public,” Lt. Gerry Adcock of Marion County said. “That would be type of crime, the past criminal history and the potential for additional crime.”
“At the time we had 405 persons in custody in our jail, and that’s at maximum. And so when he [Brown] was released, there were 405 people who had a higher potential threat than he did for the crime that he was brought in on, which was possession charge,” Adcock said.
Brown was arraigned Wednesday on murder with a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon, said Amy Queen, the deputy district attorney for Marion County. He was ordered held without bail.
Queen said she could not comment on a potential motive for the crime while the investigation is pending.
Stephen Lipton, Brown’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jeanne Sahadi, CNN
Chris Isidore, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN