Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says the state mistakenly failed to tell the family of a slain grocer who crusaded against drugs that his killer was being released from prison last year, reports the Miami Herald. Crist sent a personal note of apology to the family of Lee Arthur Lawrence, who was gunned down in front of his store in 1989. The state corrections department did not send standard letters notifying the Lawrences before the April 1, 2007 release of Bobbie Lee Robinson.
Crist said in a letter was hand-delivered to Lawrence’s widow, Sarah, that “the department has taken steps to assure that similar mistakes are not made with future victims.” The victim’s mother and son stumbled into Robinson while shopping at Wal-Mart. State correction secretary Walter McNeil called the episode “a colossal, colossal failure by the entire state.”