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I-Team: Accused Killer Released After Suffolk Co. Court Mistake

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – He’s an accused killer who’s now on the run, released after a mistake in the Suffolk County Criminal Clerk’s Office. Jean Torres Vargas, known as Tyson, is accused of brutally beating Michael Costa at a bus stop in East Boston in 2010.

vargas I Team: Accused Killer Released After Suffolk Co. Court Mistake

Accused killer Jean Torres Vargas was set free after a mistake.

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley says the attack was extremely violent. “It was a savage beating with hands, feet, at one point Vargas was seen steadying himself by holding a fence and kicking the head, neck and upper body of Michael Costa,” says Conley. “He’s a dangerous man, erratic, volatile and needs to be apprehended.”

Vargas was being held on a $2,500 bail for the assault until Costa died last December. The charge was upgraded to murder but the I-Team has learned a clerical error in the office run by Clerk Magistrate Maura Hennigan set Vargas free. Vargas was indicted for murder on March 14. He was set to be arraigned at Suffolk Superior Court on April 9 but never showed up. That’s when prosecutors first learned he was bailed out on March 14. Conley calls it a clerical error but a “serious one because Tyson Vargas is on the loose.”

The district attorney says Vargas’ name was misspelled in the court system so a warrant for murder was never issued. This costly mistake comes in the wake of our I-Team investigation where we exposed Hennigan using court employees to help with her campaign during work hours and found Hennigan spending a lot of time away from the courthouse. One employee tells the I-Team many long time staffers have left because of Hennigan, leaving the court understaffed.

Conley says his office will work with the clerk so mistakes can be averted in the future. He says, “This can’t happen anymore.”

We reached out to Maura Hennigan for comment but she said she can’t comment because the incident is under investigation.

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