Fourth escapee from Union County Jail captured
By TONI WALTHALL News-Times Staff The fourth and most dangerous Union County Jail escapee was captured Friday morning after a raid on an El Dorado home. Two escapees are still on the loose and three people, appeared in District Court Friday after they were arrested for harboring fugitives.
According to Sheriff Ken Jones, 21-year-old Robert Demond Rhodes was returned to custody Friday after Union County deputies and El Dorado police officers raided a house at 911 Liberty St. in El Dorado around 1 a.m. A felony inmate of the Arkansas Department of Correction, Rhodes had returned to the Union County lock-up to appear in court on second-degree murder charges stemming from a 2005 shooting incident at Paul’s Hamburger Stand on South Washington, in which an innocent bystander was killed.
Rhodes and five others escaped the 15-year-old jail facility early Thursday by breaking through a cinderblock wall in their cell. The six crawled into a plumbing pipe containment area, where they exited the building through an outside access door.
The six men scaled the razor wire fence surrounding the jail facility.
Rhodes – and the three other captured fugitives – had his first appearance in District Court Friday morning, facing additional charges of felony escape. Because of his felony record, District Judge George VanHook set Rhodes’ bond at $1 million. According to Jones, the inmate was immediately returned to the ADC facility in Tucker, where he will be held in a maximum security cell. Bond for the others was set at $250,000.
Nakia S. Jones, 26, of 911 Liberty St., and James Demonte Jackson, 26, of 1019 E. 9 th St., El Dorado, were arrested at the Liberty Street home during the Friday morning raid. Both appeared in court Friday afternoon, charged with felony hindering apprehension and prosecution, which is a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and as much as $10,000 in fines upon conviction. VanHook set their bond at $10,000 each.
Jackson told the court that he had been out of prison for six years, just completing his parole requirements in November of 2005. He claimed he was wrongfully arrested, because he was "just visiting the address."
Mary Nathan, 32, of 934 "B" Ave., El Dorado, was arrested Thursday on misdemeanor charges related to harboring another fugitive, 32-year Michael Hunter. Nathan appeared in court Friday afternoon for the Class A misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to a year in jail upon conviction. Her bond was set at $1,000 and she was ordered to spend 90 days in jail.
Ulysses Maxfield, 21, of 518 Park Blvd., and Brandon Braggs, 20, of Spearsville, La., were also recaptured Thursday.
One of the remaining fugitives, Carl Brown, 24, of 164 Hargett Drive, El Dorado, was the last to scale the security fence of the facility and is believed to have sustained serious injuries from the razor wire.
Brown is believed to still be in the area. According to an El Dorado police report, he was spotted before 4 a.m. Friday trying to get into an apartment on West First Street. El Dorado police officers, who were responding to a prowler call at Haygood Neal Apartments, were involved in a foot pursuit with Brown.
According to the report, he was last seen fleeing through woods behind building 1301. Brown was back from prison, held in the Union County Jail prior appearing in court on aggravated robbery charges. Brown has a previous felony conviction for breaking and entering.
Law enforcement officers are still searching for Brown and 19-year-old Jonathan Antowine Davis, of 146 N. Broadway, El Dorado. Davis, an ADC inmate convicted of robbery and aggravated assault, was back in Union County to make an appearance in juvenile court.
"We feel real confident that we will capture the last two fugitives soon, and I might add that any of their friends who feel a need to help them avoid capture will be coming to jail with them," Jones said. Anyone having information about the location of the remaining two escapees – Carl Brown and Jonathan Davis – are asked to call the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 870-864-1970.
At large Jail escapees Carl Brown, left, and Jonathan Davis were still at large Friday night.