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Archive for Sunday, November 11, 2007

Escaped Kansas inmates will face charges in New Mexico

November 11, 2007

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— Two inmates who escaped from a Kansas prison will face charges in New Mexico before being extradited to Kansas, district attorneys in both states announced Saturday.

Steven Ford, 26, and Jesse Bell, 33, were charged this week in New Mexico with being a felon in possession of a firearm, receiving stolen property and resisting or evading a peace officer.

Ford also faces charges of aggravated assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon a peace officer and tampering with evidence.

District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said a judge has ordered the men to face those charges before returning to Kansas.

A former prison guard accused of helping the men escape from the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas last month was flown back to the state Friday to face charges of aiding an escape and aiding a felon.

"These other guys are going to stick around," Martinez said following a noon news conference.

Butler County, Kan., District Attorney Jan Satterfield said she is supportive of the decision to have the inmates tried first in New Mexico.

"I'm regretful that they escaped from Kansas and they ended up in New Mexico, but I'm grateful no one was injured and there's prosecution of these two individuals not only in Kansas but in New Mexico."

Goff is being held at the Butler County jail. She is scheduled to make a first appearance Wednesday, Satterfield said.

Satterfield said she is encouraging authorities in all jurisdictions to prosecute the inmates and Goff to the fullest extent of the law to maximize their sentences.

She said she has been in contact with the U.S. attorney's office in Wichita, and "they are considering federal charges on Amber Goff next week."

Those would include crossing state lines with a fugitive, aiding an escape and furnishing firearms to a convicted felon, Satterfield said.

Bell, Ford and Goff were arrested Oct. 31 in Grants after a man called 911 in the early morning hours to report suspicious behavior in an apartment complex parking lot.

Police arrived to find a man they later identified as Bell trying to scale a fence. Officers said Ford fired four shots toward them as they talked to Bell, but no one was hit.

They said Ford threw away the weapon and tried to hide between two vehicles.

Goff was arrested in the driveway of a vacant house a few blocks away.

Bell and Ford were being held at the Cibola County Detention Center on no-hold bonds.

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