Norfolk authorities twice released Christopher White


Posted on June 4, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 1:24 PM

NORFOLK -- 13News has learned that authorities mistakenly let Christopher White back on the street.

Norfolk police had the chance to put White back in jail, catching up with the fugitive four days after a judge realized he was mistakenly allowed to leave jail.

They did not come face-to-face with White again until Monday, when they say he abducted and killed a man and repeatedly shot a Chesapeake police officer, who survived.

Video: Norfolk authorities twice released Christopher White

A court clerk mistakenly allowed White to bond out of jail in December - even though a judge never approved bail. After realizing the error, a judge on Feb. 13 ordered White be "immediately taken into custody."

Court documents show White was arrested on Feb. 17 - four days later - and charged with obstruction of justice in Norfolk.

Police fingerprinted White and had him sign a summons, promising to appear in court March 23 to answer the charge.

White was a no-show.

Norfolk police did not learn White was listed as a fugitive until 4:29 p.m. on Feb 17 -- four and a half hours after he was arrested and released, said police spokesman Chris Amos.

The Sheriff's Office received the fugitive file earlier that day.

Court was closed the previous three days, which may explain the lag.

Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer says the rule is to have fugitive files forwarded to police within three business days.

Technically, the courts sent over White's file the next business day, even though it was four days later.

"That's actually pretty fast," Schaefer said.

White was shot and killed as he opened fire with an AK-47 on I-64 at George Washington Highway Monday afternoon. Officer S.M. Fleming was wounded but returned fire, killing White, police say.

Two men, Willie Simmons and Dedrion Short, were arrested and face charges of felony murder, attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, abduction and use of a firearm.

The situation started Monday afternoon in Norfolk with the abduction of Tione Vincent of Chesapeake. Police believe he was then shot and killed by his captors.