Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj voiced disappointment in the Loudoun County, Virginia, sheriff’s office after the department released a man charged in connection to a 2021 murder.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said Stone L. Colburn, 25, was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on Thursday after his original murder charges were dismissed by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Colburn was arrested by the Pooler Police Department in Chatham County, Georgia, just before midnight Friday.
Biberaj attacked the department’s initial public statement, calling into question the sheriff’s department’s intent, just hours before the man would be apprehended in Georgia.
“Our office is greatly disappointed by the LCSO’s recent press release that mischaracterizes the release of Colburn and their lack of accountability. It attempts to mislead the public and unfairly shift the blame to our office,” Biberaj said.
Commonwealth’s Attorneys worked to ensure that Colburn would remain in jail, she said, adding that the wanted man’s arrest is her office’s “first and foremost priority.”
“Based on the severity of the crime and the concerns for the current and future safety of the community, we consulted with other mental health evaluators and concluded we needed a second evaluation,” Biberaj said in a statement. “That request was denied by the General District Court.”
WTOP news partner NBC Washington first reported that Colburn was accused of killing his brother’s girlfriend, 24-year-old Natalie Crow.
Colburn was detained and has remained in custody since July 2021 — he was found to be mentally incompetent after being given a mental health evaluation.
After prosecutors failed to get a second mental health evaluation, the commonwealth’s attorney decided not to pursue the murder charge, instead issuing charges for concealing a dead body.
The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office said relevant documents confirming the new charges were given to both the jail and lead detective.
The sheriff’s office said in its initial news release that Colburn was released from the Loudoun County jail on Thursday after his original charges for murder were “dismissed by the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney.”