Brittany Guerriero’s life was upended in Detroit when two carjackers ambushed her, jammed a gun into her ribs and threatened to shoot her. Two years after the ambush, she was blindsided again, this time by the justice system, reports the Detroit Free Press. After months of thinking her assailants were behind bars, Guerriero discovered that both men were accidentally released from federal prison when they were supposed to be transferred to state prison to begin sentences for a string of carjackings: One got 9-20 years; the other 25-50. Instead of being locked up for terrorizing her and others, the convicted carjackers roamed free for months. Guerriero, who caught the mistake Nov. 21 while checking the federal prison system’s online database, is demanding answers. She wants someone to explain why two violent men were released back into society and why nobody but the victim caught this error: not the prosecutors, the state prison system or the federal prison system.
U.S. Marshals captured the men in December, though Guerriero lived for weeks in fear. No one has taken responsibility for the error, though there has some finger-pointing. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office says it’s the federal Bureau of Prisons’ fault, saying the bureau is responsible for making sure its inmates have no outstanding charges or warrants before releasing them. The Michigan Department of Corrections, the U.S. Marshals and the prison bureau said the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office messed up by not filing the necessary paperwork for what’s known as a detainer. That alerts prison officials not to let inmates out right away. “I’m frustrated and disappointed,” said Guerriero, 35. “I put my life in danger … I testified against them and did my duty as a citizen and a victim. I kept telling myself, ‘I will be safer and society will be safer if these men are behind bars. ‘ … I don’t trust the system anymore.”