BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Authorities say the subject of a two-week manhunt in the high desert of Kern County, California, was released from jail last year due to lack of bed space.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood tells KBAK-TV (http://bit.ly/1HIA6ml ) that Benjamin Peter Ashley was released Oct. 20 because of federal orders that set a limit on inmates at the local jail.
Officials offered a $10,000 reward in the search for Ashley, who they believe killed a retiree, took three people hostage and wounded deputies.
The 34-year-old is believed to be hiding somewhere in remote terrain 30 miles east of Bakersfield.
The crimes began July 28, when three men were held hostage at gunpoint in a cabin.
Two days later, a man was found dead in another cabin. Later, a gunman wounded two SWAT team members searching a mobile home.
Information from: KBAK-TV, http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/