A man suspected in a brutal hatchet murder was released from a New York jail on Tuesday as a result of a new state law before authorities re-arrested him hours later, according to local reports.
Joseph Rivera, 21, was back in the Monroe County Jail on a charge of second-degree murder in connection to the death of 47-year-old Heather Majors, who was stabbed 30 times with a hatchet in her Rochester apartment on July 10, WHEC-TV reported. Majors died from her wounds days later.
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Rivera had initially been arrested at Rochester’s “Tent City” on July 22 for violating numerous conditions of his parole and police alerted New York State Parole that he was suspected in Major’s murder, according to a timeline Rochester police gave the outlet.
Police told parole that Rivera was to be held in jail until December 2021 while investigators prepared for prosecution and that he would be charged with murder prior to his release date, the report said.
However, Rivera was released at 9 a.m. on Tuesday as part of New York’s new “Less is More” act, according to police.
Under the parole reform law, which Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday, parolees can no longer be held in jail for technical violations.
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Rochester police said officers did not know Rivera had been released until parole notified them an hour later. Investigators contacted the U.S. Marshals Violent Felony Fugitive Task Force, which took Rivera back into custody around 7 p.m. Tuesday without incident.
Rivera pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. He was being held without bond at the Monroe County Jail.
Fox News has reached out to the Rochester Police Department.