Bucks County officials were irate on Friday after a man charged with murdering a homeless man in Doylestown was set free from a Baltimore jail where he was awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.
Dale Wakefield Jr., who was recaptured after four hours, was apparently released by the order of a Baltimore district judge, according to The Baltimore Sun. But Bucks County District Attorney still wants to know why.
"I have not heard a peep from anybody," he told The Inquirer on Friday afternoon. "Obviously this was totally unacceptable and outrageous."
The Sun published the judge’s order releasing Wakefield, which Heckler said “makes no sense.” It read: "You are hereby commanded to release the above-named defendant as trial in the case was held on 7/10/2013 before Judge C. Yvonne Holt-Stone and the case was concluded."
The Inquirer left a message with the judge's chambers on Friday, which was not returned. The Sun also failed to reach the judge on Friday afternoon.
The judge's order allowed Wakefield, a man with a long criminal history that includes shooting his mom with a BB gun, to walk free.
Wakefield allegedly stabbed to death 71-year-old George Mohr near the Doylestown train station in the early hours of July 3, the day after his 21st birthday. He then fled to Baltimore, where his sister attends college. Police arrested him there on July 5 and sent him to the Baltimore City Detention Center.
Wakefield waived his extradition hearing and was waiting for Pennsylvania authorities to transport him back to Bucks County when he was released from the jail at about 2 a.m. Thursday morning.
Wakefiled then called his mother who contacted a Bucks County detective assigned to the case. The detective reached out to the jail, according to Heckler, but received little assistance from employees there.
The detective then contacted the Baltimore homicide detectives unit, Heckler said, which tracked down Wakefield around 6 a.m. near his sister's residence in Baltimore.
After Bucks County officials arrived, he was transported to Doylestown, where he was arraigned. He is being held in Bucks County Jail without bail.
Wakefield has a long criminal history. It includes an incident in February 2012, when Wakefield “went somewhat berserk” and sparked the lockdown of a trade school he attended in Suffield, Connecticut, police Chief Mike Manzi told The Inquirer. Wakefield smashed some tables and threatened a security guard before the SWAT team arrived, according to Manzi, who added that Wakefield was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and despondent over the recent death of his father.
In September, Wakefield shot his mom in the thigh with a BB gun when she refused to let him drive her car because he had a suspended license, according to the affidavit filed against him in Carbon County. He later pleaded guilty to simple assault and was sentenced to 7 to 23 months in county jail.
Wakefield was released in March, after receiving credit for time served, according to the Times News newspaper based in Lehighton, Carbon County. He then moved to Bucks County, staying in an apartment in Doylestown near the train station where he repeatedly stabbed and beat Mohr, the homeless man who later died, police said.