Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fugitive Re-captured After Eluding Arkansas Police For One Day

Justin P. Welch was re-captured on Thursday a day after escaping from private security guards in Arkansas

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 14, 2010

Sallisaw, Oklahoma -On Thursday, Justin Patrick Welch, 26, was re-captured 30 miles from where he had escaped, Sallisaw police confirmed. He drove away in a security prisoner transport van when he escaped from a rest stop after over powering two security guards in Van Buren, Arkansas. He later dumped the van after driving for two hours.
Welch then hitched a ride from a man driving a semi-trailer. He asked truck driver T.J. Lyon to stop at a Wal-Mart in Sallisaw on Wednesday night where he got off and went inside. Lyon noticed Welch had a weapon in his duffel bag and texted his mom who happens to be a Utah police officer. Lyon's mom told him to call the Sallisaw Police Department.
Police arrived and Welch who was inside the truck went for his gun, but Lyon got the bag with the weapon inside first and threw it out the truck's window. Welch was arrested without incident, according to the Sequoia County Sheriff's Department.
Welch a murder for hire suspect was charged in Wisconsin for the stabbing death of Kimberly Smith of Oconomowoc. He was being transported by a private extradition service when Welch escaped.
Police say Welch escaped in Arkansas, and was considered armed and dangerous. He was able to stab one of the guards in the hand, then grabbed his gun and threaten the second guard in a rest area on I-40 between Van Buren and near Fort Smith, Ark. just East of the Oklahoma border shortly before 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The guards had stopped at a public rest stop to allow prisoners to use restrooms, according to the Arkansas State Patrol.
The security guards are employed by the North Atlantic Extradition Services a private company based in Mississippi. They were transporting Welch to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin to face homicide charges.
Oconomowoc Police Chief Dave Beguhn said on Thursday, the guards from the North Atlantic Extradition Services had decided to stop at a public rest stop, despite their company's policy not to stop at rest stops. They were only supposed to stop at secured places or county jails for restroom breaks.

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