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Death Row Fugitive Is Captured in Louisiana

A tip leads police to a Shreveport liquor store, where they find the killer who fled Texas.

November 07, 2005|From Associated Press

HOUSTON — A death row inmate who slipped out of a Texas jail last week wearing street clothes was captured Sunday as he talked on a pay phone in Shreveport, La., authorities said.

Charles Victor Thompson had a bicycle with him when Shreveport police, acting on a tip relayed by U.S. Marshals, approached him late Sunday, Harris County Sheriff's Lt. John Martin said.

"He was standing in front of a liquor store and appeared to be intoxicated," Martin said.

When the officers asked his name, he said, "You know who I am," then identified himself as Thompson, Martin said.

Martin wouldn't discuss the tip that lead to Thompson's arrest, but said authorities were still trying to determine exactly how Thompson got to Louisiana and if he had help in his escape. A $10,000 reward had been offered for information leading to his capture.

Thompson, 35, of the Houston suburb of Tomball, is scheduled to be in court today in Shreveport, and if he waives extradition, he will be returned to Texas immediately, Martin said.

Thompson had been convicted in 1999 for the shooting deaths a year earlier of his ex-girlfriend, Dennise Hayslip, and her new boyfriend, Darren Keith Cain. An appeals court threw out his death sentence, but on Oct. 28, another jury sentenced him to death.

On Thursday, Thompson was in the Harris County Jail awaiting transfer to a state prison when he was taken to a room for a meeting with an attorney, though not his attorney of record, authorities said.

After the attorney left, Thompson was alone. Somehow, he removed his handcuffs, changed out of his orange prison jumpsuit into the clothes he wore during his sentencing, and left the prisoner's booth in the visiting room, authorities said. Using a phony ID badge, he got past at least four jail employees and walked out of the building.

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. John Martin said Friday that "multiple errors" by jail personnel led to Thompson's escape.

His victim's relatives were notified by authorities and given police protection. Earlier, prosecutors had accused Thompson of trying to hire hit men to kill witnesses against him, as well as members of Hayslip's family.

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