As mentioned in Part 1, there is a crime in Texas of prison escape. It is also a crime not to show up to the police station when you are called. This article discusses this further.
The Texas Seven
On December 13, 2000, seven inmates escaped prison in Kenedy, Texas. The escape triggered a massive manhunt that ended approximately one month later. The recapture of the escaped convicts was helped significantly by the television show America’s Most Wanted, which provided extensive coverage of the prison break.
The seven concocted an elaborate plan to escape. They overpowered civilian workers at the prison as well as some guards. They took the clothing of the civilians and their identification and eventually stole a white prison truck. The father of Michael Rodriguez, who was one of the Texas Seven, provided a getaway car for the men after they abandonded the prison truck in San Antonio. After escaping prison, they went on a crime spree by robbing a Radio Shack and later a sporting goods store. The sporting goods robbery turned violent when a cop tried to stop them. The cop died in a firefight.
Eventually, the seven went to Colorado and acted as missionaries. They played Christian music to keep their cover. Someone, who had seen America’s Most Wanted, reported them to the police. The SWAT team moved in to arrest them and they were returned to Texas.
Among the many crimes they committed were the crime of escaping from prison. As mentioned in the previous post, the Texas Penal Code criminalizes escaping from prison. Under the Texas Penal Code, escaping from prison is a felony, which means that there is a prison sentence for at least one year besides for the other time the escapee is required to serve.
What is more, facilitating escape from prison or custody is also a felony under the Texas Penal Code. As mentioned, the Texas Seven were aided by a father of one of the fugitives. That man also committed a felony.
As mentioned in the previous post, police often send a notice to someone asking that person to come to the police station. When that occurs, a person usually goes to the police station. However, if someone does not follow the notice, then that person can be charged with evading arrest, which is usually a misdemeanor under Texas law.
If the person evades arrest on foot, then, as mentioned, the crime is a misdemeanor. However, if the person evades arrest by vehicle, then it can be a felony. The charges can be aggravated if the person has a previous conviction.
If you receive a notice to go to the police, it is best to go but do not speak with them. The police have a right to take you into custody but cannot compel you to speak. Speak with a lawyer who has the experience and knowledge when dealing with the police. Contact the law firm of Christopher Abel, a board-certified criminal defense attorney.
(image courtesy of Daniel Tafjord)