May 9, 2012 Edition

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Escapee caught in Missouri

Gretchen Hunt
Editor

A Lawrence County inmate who escaped while on a work detail is now facing numerous charges in Lawrence and Randolph counties after being apprehended in Missouri.

Sheriff Jody Dotson said James F. Lundry, 39, of Pocahontas, was on work detail Friday at Stewart Park in Walnut Ridge when he walked away from his work assignment while the crew was on lunch break.

A short time later a black 2001 Ford Expedition was taken from a residence on Robin Lane in Walnut Ridge. Witnesses say a black male was seen taking the vehicle. A 911 call from the owner at 1:05 p.m. alerted officers of the stolen vehicle.

"A short time later the vehicle was spotted in Pocahontas by Lundry's estranged wife, driving by her residence," Dotson said. "She called in and said it was Lundry in the vehicle and that he was alone in the vehicle."

Officers responded to the residence and surrounding area but did not locate Lundry or the vehicle.

Dotson said Lundry will face charges of escape, as well as charges by the Walnut Ridge Police Department for theft of property.

He will also face multiple charges in Randolph County, where he is accused of stealing a Pontiac minivan from Taylor-Cox Funeral Home and a .40 caliber handgun, ammo, a bulletproof vest and a knife from a Pocahontas police officer's house.

According to reports, Lundry was discovered at the home by the officer's wife, who he threatened with the stolen gun. It is also reported that he shot and wounded the family's pit bull, and shot two additional rounds into the home before leaving.

When Lundry was arrested in Butler County, Missouri, he was in the stolen Pontiac minivan and had the missing bulletproof vest in his possession. The handgun and ammo were not recovered.

Dotson said Lundry was extradited to Randolph County and was picked up by a RCSD deputy on Tuesday.

Lundry was in jail on charges of illegal use of vouchers (food stamps), and as a non-violent offender, he had qualified for the work release program. Dotson said the program has been very successful, and this is an isolated incident.

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