The prisoner who walked away from work crew detail Tuesday morning has been captured in Jacksonville.
Capt. John Randall of the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office said that he and investigators arrived at the conclusion that 23-year-old Jake Steven Rackley was probably trying to make his way to Jacksonville after feigning stomach trouble and leaving his assigned work building at the Conway Sanitation Department because Rackley is from Jacksonville and has no known ties to Faulkner County. He was located and arrested in Jacksonville Tuesday night.
Investigators sorting through online social networking Web sites found evidence supporting this theory on Tuesday, Randall said, and possibly a clue as to why an inmate who was 7 work days away from paying off his outstanding fines and being released would take the risk of running: He had made arrangements prior to his arrest to be married on Tuesday.
Randall said on Wednesday that Rackley had told him that the wedding had not taken place. According to Randall, Rackley said that he escaped because his fiancé and their 4-month-old child were indigent, and that he had been able to somehow collect $400 or $500 to give to them before he was found.
Authorities have reason to believe that Rackley had relied on an accomplice to pick him up, Randall said. Rackley, who had somehow changed clothes so as not to be seen walking in public wearing a Faulkner County Detention Center work crew uniform, met this accomplice near the Centennial Valley Country Club, according to Randall.
Randall said that investigators were still working on Wednesday to identify this accomplice.
Had Rackley escaped in such a manner in early 2009, he would face the possibility of a misdemeanor escape charge. However, Act 478, filed Feb. 16, 2009, amends the existing penalty of third-degree escape from a class-A misdemeanor to a class-C felony.
Act 478 also amended the law to replace the language “furnishing an implement for escape” with the language “assisting in or furnishing an implement for escape,” and amends the offense from a class-D to a class-C felony, or a B-felony if the implement in question is a deadly weapon.
The addition of this language is clarified with the provision that one has committed the offense of assisting in an escape if one has provided ”transportation of any kind that is used in the commission or furtherance of an escape from a correctional facility (or) ... food, clothing, finances, or other aid to a person who escaped from a correctional facility (or) ... shelter or housing to a person who escaped from a correctional facility.”
Randall said that the work crew program would remain suspended until a means can be found to make the program more secure.
(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached at 505-1238 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)