Murder suspect surrenders in Nashville after error cleared his release

Posted at 9:20 AM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 20:14:35-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A murder suspect turned himself in Wednesday morning after he was released "in error" last week in Davidson County.

Roberto Josue Viera-Aybar was awaiting trial for a first-degree murder charge but was released on Friday. Metro police say he made arrangements through his attorney and surrendered to an officer on Piccadilly Row.

Viera-Aybar was booked into the Davidson County Jail on June 12, 2018 on several charges, including probation violation and murder. On June 28 this year, the sheriff's office says a staff member mistakenly consolidated the murder charge into the probation violation. On August 30, he completed his sentence for the probation violation and was released because the murder charge was no longer listed due to the error.

“There is no excuse for a mistake such as this. Although the work of calculating thousands of sentences annually – is high volume and can be extremely complicated – we cannot become careless,” Sheriff Daron Hall said. “We are relieved he is back in custody, without incident, and are committed to doing everything possible to see this doesn’t happen again.”

He was initially arrested with two other men, Hector J. Ruiz and Kevin Isaza Palacio, in 2018. Agents began investigating in 2017 when Luiz Lopez's partially-burned body was found in a wooded area near Dalton, Georgia. A 13-year-old boy made the gruesome discovery.

The TBI partnered with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on the case. They determined Lopez was murdered in Davidson County but his body was burned and disposed of in Georgia.