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Arkansas jail escapees traveled to Michigan

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:17 AM

A judge set bond at $500,000 for each of the men during a court session conducted via video link from the jail after their return Tuesday.

Investigators allege the men stole vehicles and hopped a freight train to get around after their Nov. 23 escape. They were caught a week later in Polk County in central Florida.

Zachary Dunn, 24, of Reyno and Jason Brown, 23, and Korey Kitchen, 21, both of Jonesboro, face felony escape charges plus charges in other states they visited.

The former fugitives have a Jan. 25 court date.

The public defender’s office didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

At the time of the escape, Brown was awaiting transfer to prison to serve a four-year sentence on an arson-related count. Dunn and Kitchen were both awaiting trial, Dunn on a methamphetamine possession charge, and Kitchen on a burglary charge.

Sheriff Jack McCann said earlier that Dunn, Brown and Kitchen climbed into an attic to get out of the jail building and then used a blanket to get over a razor wire-topped fence.

Investigators said the men stole a truck from a construction company near the jail and then drove north through Missouri and into Illinois, allegedly stealing gas from a convenience store near Chicago.

“(Kitchen) advised approximately 30 seconds after leaving the gas station, they passed a police officer,” Investigator David Wallace with the Polk County, Fla., Sheriff’s Department told local investigators in an e-mail. “He advised he was driving and saw the police officer start to turn around. He advised they then drove a couple of blocks over and ditched the vehicle in the middle of the road.”

The men are accused of breaking into vehicles and businesses, hopping a freight train to Michigan, where they allegedly stole a truck and drove to Georgetown, Ky. Investigators say they stole another truck in Kentucky and drove to Tennessee, where authorities there claim the men burglarized a church, taking cash and a van. They then made their way to Florida, where they were caught in a wooded area near a trailer park.

Assistant Chief Deputy Marty Boyd said the men face charges in Michigan and Tennessee, and that charges may be lodged in Kentucky.

“The escape only extends the time for them, making their lives worse than where they started at,” Boyd said. “I can’t, in my 20 years of law enforcement and all the escapes I’ve been involved with, think of an instance where the escapee hasn’t been caught in a relatively short time period.”

Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, www.jonesborosun.com

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