Denver officials are investigating who ordered release of teen suspect charged with a violent crime

Sebastian Littletjohn faces aggravated robbery

DENVER - Denver authorities are investigating who ordered the mistaken release of an 18-year-old man facing a felony aggravated robbery charge. He was later re-arrested.

"Yesterday, the Denver Sheriff's Department received a court order releasing Sebastian Littlejohn from custody on the charges which he was being held," Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference. "Today, the Denver Sheriff's Department was advised of conflicting information that suggested that Mr. Littlejohn should not have been released."

The sheriff's office obtained an arrest warrant for the teen's arrest and Denver police re-arrested Littlejohn Tuesday afternoon.

Now, law enforcement officials are working to determine who issued the order to free the teen suspect who was arrested last fall on felony charges of robbery and kidnapping involving sexual assault.

Wilson said his agency is working with the courts and the Denver District Attorney's Office to get to the bottom of how the man was freed.

"Initial investigation reveals concerns with the court order that the Denver Sheriff's Department received," Wilson said. "We will continue to work with the courts to understand and investigate this matter."

Asked if the court order releasing Littleton might have been forged, the sheriff said it's unclear whether fraudulent records were used. 

"There's more work to be done to really understand exactly how this happened," Wilson said.

On Oct. 4, 2013 -- Littlejohn's 18th birthday -- he was arrested on suspicion of two felony counts of aggravated robbery involving menacing the victim with a deadly weapon, one felony count of kidnapping to sexually assault a victim and one felony count of aggravated robbery where the victim was wounded, struck or a weapon was used, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation's arrest records. 

Littlejohn is accused of committing the crimes on July 22, 2013, when he was a 17-year-old juvenile, CBI records state. Littlejohn was found guilty of felony aggravated robbery and prosecutors dismissed the other charges, CBI records state.

Given Littleton's past violence, Wilson expressed relief that police were able to re-arrest him one day after his puzzling release.

"Well, obviously we were concerned with public safety here. So the big priority was to get him back in custody, for the protection of the public," the sheriff said.

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