Hopkins County Escapees Captured

A capital murder suspect and a convicted drug offender whose escape from a Texas jail left residents in the largely rural area on edge are back in lockup after being captured in a barn.

Brian Allen Tucker, who is awaiting a capital murder trial, was returned to the Hopkins County Jail on Thursday along with John Marlin King. It's the same jail in Sulphur Springs, about 75 miles northeast of Dallas, that authorities say the two inmates fled on Tuesday.

Their capture came after federal, state and local officers raided a barn where the men were hiding in Cooper, 20 miles northwest of Sulphur Springs.

Hopkins County sheriff's Sgt. Brad Cummings said authorities had received dozens of reports from people who thought they had seen one or both of the fugitives.

In the end, an attempt to pawn jewelry left in a vehicle the men allegedly stole in Sulphur Springs is what led authorities to their Cooper hideout, Delta County Sheriff Ricky Smith said. A Cooper pawn shop clerk's report led officers to the person with the jewelry, who revealed Tucker and King's whereabouts, Smith said.

Officers also arrested Charles Ensey, the owner of the house where the barn was located. He was in the Delta County Jail in Cooper on Thursday. Smith said he was charged with two counts of hindering arrest.

Bond had not been set. Ensey was scheduled to go before a magistrate Friday.

Investigators also have possession of a sport utility vehicle that Tucker and King are believed to have stolen Wednesday.

King was seen at the home of an acquaintance in northwest Hopkins County on Wednesday afternoon.

Hopkins County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Brad Cummings said King visited the woman's home on Farm-to-Market Road 3134 and left in a black SUV with an unidentified passenger.

The woman called police right after they left her home.

The arrests came two days after Tucker and King slipped past a Hopkins County Jail fence.

Sheriff's officials said the inmates fled the jail in Sulphur Springs on Tuesday by scaling a fence or slipping through a gap in a perimeter fence. Officials said a maintenance person noticed a problem with the fence around a recreation yard used by female inmates. Hours later, deputies and other law enforcement officers were searching the woods and areas east and northeast of the jail.

Tucker was being held on $1 million bond in the 2011 death of Bobby Riley of Mahoney. Riley was found strangled in his home and some music instruments and firearms had been stolen. Jury selection in the murder trial was set to begin June 3.

Tucker previously was convicted of burglary and driving while intoxicated, and has been arrested several times for violating parole.

King was being held on several charges, including evading arrest, burglary and possession of a controlled substance. According to court documents, he pleaded guilty last month to the possession charge as a habitual offender and received a sentence of 40 years in prison.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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