Inmates sentenced in connection with escape
By KELI JACOBI News-Times Staff Three of six inmates who escaped from Union County Jail last March pleaded guilty to several separate felony charges, including second-degree escape, in Union County Circuit Court on Thursday. Each received varying sentences.
Judge Hamilton H. Singleton accepted the pleas of Carl Brown III, 24, Ulysses Maxfi eld, 21, and Jonathan Davis, 20, and ordered each co-defendant to be jointly responsible for $2,000 in damages to the jail during the escape.
Brown was handed the lengthiest prison term, 25 years, after admitting guilt to fi rst-degree battery and habitual offender status, along with the charge of escape, in which he snuck out of the same hole created in the jail’s "E" pod as his co-defendants.
"Did you have anything to do with making that hole?" asked the judge.
"Sir, no sir," Brown responded.
"But he took advantage of it," offered public defender Robert Jeffrey.
Brown’s battery charges stemmed from an incident in which he said he shot a drug partner in the upper arm with a pistol. He was given a fi ve-year suspended imposition of sentence and given credit for 70 days of pre-trial incarceration. Charges of aggravated robbery were dropped.
In addition to the escape charges, Maxfi eld also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of theft of property, saying he took over $2,000 from a countertop at a local fast-food chain where he once worked. The judge sentenced Maxfi eld to fi ve years in prison on that charge, plus fi ve years in prison on the escape charge; the sentences will run concurrently.
However, a sentence of fi ve years imposed for probation revocation will run consecutive to the sentence for escape and theft of property, making the total effective sentence 10 years.
A fi ve-year suspended imposition of sentence was also imposed along with court costs and attorney’s fees. Maxfi eld was given credit for 84 days of pre-trial incarceration.
Davis, who has two prior felonies and was charged as a habitual offender, was sentenced to fi ve years in prison and given a fi ve-year suspended imposition of sentence subsequent to his admission that he also used the hole in the "E" pod.
Davis was already serving a 10-year sentence in the Arkansas Department of Correction for robbery and aggravated assault. He was transferred to Union County Jail earlier this year for a juvenile appearance when he escaped in March. Davis reluctantly conceded that Brandon Braggs, another inmate who escaped from the jail last March, made the hole, taking about four or fi ve days to do so.
"How did he make the hole? " asked Singleton.
"Water and an iron object ... he just kept chipping away," replied Davis.
"That told me all I needed to know and probably what the sheriff needed to know," said Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Rogers.
The other six inmates who were captured shortly after their overnight escape are Robert Rhodes, Braggs and Michael Hunter.