Attempted murder suspect released by mistake in N.J., captured in Chicopee


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield man wanted on a charge of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at his pregnant girlfriend, was taken into police custody in Chicopee Wednesday, after earlier being released by mistake following his initial arrest in New Jersey.

Springfield police department spokesperson Ryan Walsh told 22News that Shacolby Merriman was apprehended at a house on Bourbeau Street in Chicopee before 10:30 A.M. by members of several law enforcement agencies, including Springfield Police, State Police, Chicopee Police, Hampden County sheriff’s deputies, and U.S. Marshals.

Walsh says that in November, Merriman shot at his girlfriend in an attempt to kill her. He then left the area, and was tracked down by U.S. Marshals recently in New Jersey. However, he was freed by mistake.

“While appearing in New Jersey courts some sort of error occurred and Mr. Merriman was erroneously released from custody before facing rendition to Massachusetts,” Walsh wrote in a news release.

He is now charged with assault to murder, assault and battery on a pregnant victim, and threat to commit a crime. He also is facing two counts of witness intimidation.

Prior to the incident in November, Merriman had been held in connection to the 2014 killing of Demarcus Johnson. Merriman, who was charged with murder as part of a joint venture, saw his charged dropped in 2017, following a decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that changed the law. He did plead guilty to witness intimidation charges in that case.

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