(VitalNews.org) – Authorities say that they have recaptured a convicted rapist on the run with along his wife, his mother, and the mother’s boyfriend. After escaping his Arkansas prison in August 2022, 39-year-old Samuel Hartman was finally apprehended in Lewisburg, West Virginia, where he was found staying at the Quality Inn hotel along with wife Misty Hartman, 39, mother Linda White, 61, and White’s 52-year-old boyfriend Rodney Trent.
Hartman had been serving a life sentence since 2013 for the rape of his 14-year-old stepdaughter when he managed to break out of Brickey’s East Arkansas Regional Unit with the help of his wife and mother. Hartman was working in a field near the prison when the women are alleged to have driven a pickup truck to his work area and opened fire at the nearby prison staff. Under the cover of gunfire, Hartman was reported to have been able to run to the vehicle before the three fled the scene.
They are accused of driving the pickup to the Mississippi River, where they had previously left two jet skis in order to make the next leg of their journey. A witness claims to have seen a man and two women piloting the two jet skis across the river. The jet skis were later recovered by the water’s edge, along with some keys and a cell phone. US Marshalls launched a manhunt and worked closely with Arkansas investigators in order to establish where the three may have gone to hide. They soon established that Linda White had family ties to West Virginia.
After tracking the fugitive and his family down, authorities released photographs of the four in handcuffs, being led out of the Lewisburg hotel. Samuel Hartman is shown to have been injured, with blood covering much of his face and head, although details have not been given about the nature of his injuries or how he came to sustain them.
Although authorities have not confirmed which charges the two women will face, Rodney Trent faces charges of harboring a sex offender and for helping the three in their efforts to evade justice. All four are expected to be extradited to Arkansas.
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