COOPER, Texas (AP) — A foiled try to pawn stolen jewelry Thursday led officials to the hideout of two inmates who escaped from an East Texas jail, a sheriff said.
Capital murder suspect Brian Allen Tucker and convicted drug offender John Marlin King were returned Thursday to the Hopkins County Jail in Sulphur Springs after a barn where they were hiding out was raided by federal, state and local officers in Cooper, 20 miles northwest of Sulphur Springs.
Authorities were led to the men after a pawn shop clerk in Cooper reported that someone had been trying to pawn jewelry left in a vehicle that had been stolen, said Sheriff Ricky Smith of Delta County, where the arrests took place. Investigators believed the fugitives had stolen the vehicle from a Sulphur Springs location.
Police then questioned the person with the jewelry, who revealed the fugitives were hiding, Smith said. The agents and officers stormed the barn and took the pair into custody without incident shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, he said.
Also arrested was the owner of the house where the barn was located. Charles Ensey was in the Delta County Jail in Cooper charged with two counts of hindering arrest, Smith said. No bond has been set, and Ensey was scheduled to go before a magistrate Friday.
The arrests came two days after Tucker and King slipped past a Hopkins County Jail fence.
Sheriff’s officials said the inmates fled the jail Tuesday by scaling a fence or slipping through a gap in a perimeter fence in Sulphur Springs, about 75 miles northeast of Dallas. Officials said a maintenance person noticed a problem with the fence around a recreation yard used by female inmates. Hours later, deputies and other law enforcement officers were searching the woods and area east and northeast of the jail.
Tucker was being held on $1 million bond in the 2011 death of Bobby Riley of Mahoney. Riley was found strangled in his home and some music instruments and firearms had been stolen. Jury selection in the murder trial was set to begin June 3.
Tucker previously was convicted of burglary and driving while intoxicated, and has been arrested several times for violating parole.
King was being held on several charges, including evading arrest, burglary and possession of a controlled substance. According to court documents, he pleaded guilty last month to the possession charge as a habitual offender and received a sentence of 40 years in prison.