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Detroit convict's bloody escape ends with pile of new charges

September 10, 2013|By Matt Pearce
  • Abraham Pearson, 25, stabbed a sheriff's deputy in the neck and carjacked a woman's minivan while escaping from a downtown Detroit courthouse, officials said.
Abraham Pearson, 25, stabbed a sheriff's deputy in the neck and carjacked… (Wayne County Sheriffs Department…)

Abraham Pearson made it out of jail, but he never made it out of Detroit.

Pearson, 25, who was awaiting sentencing for carjacking, robbery and weapons convictions, is facing a new stack of felony charges after his jail escape spurred a 14-hour search that ended in his arrest.

"He is looking at a significant amount of time," Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon told reporters after Pearson's capture Monday night along a freeway on the east side of Detroit.

Pearson, who has used the alias Derreck White, was headed to court for his sentencing with two other prisoners Monday when he repeatedly stabbed a guard in the neck with a plastic comb he had fashioned into a shiv, officials said.

Pearson then took the deputy's uniform and keys and made his escape from the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit, where he then carjacked a woman's minivan, officials said.

"I was reaching to get some papers ... and the guy just appeared and said, 'Get out, get out or I'll kill you,' " Patricia Banford told WXYZ-TV. "I got out, and then I still had the keys in my hand, and he said, 'Ma'am, I don't want to have to kill you. Please give me the keys.' So he took it, and I got out of his way and he took off."

The injured guard was able to call for help, officials said. A multi-agency manhunt involving the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Marshals and U.S. Border Patrol ultimately ended with a single Detroit police cruiser finding Pearson walking near a service road. After a brief foot chase, he was captured, Napoleon told reporters.

“He tried to escape again, but he was caught," Napoleon said, adding that the stabbed guard was doing "fine." Part of the plastic comb had broken during the stabbing, he said.

Napoleon said officials were conducting an internal investigation to determine whether any jail policies were violated during the prisoners' transfer, or whether the policies themselves were inadequate. The process of transferring jailed suspects to court happens "thousands of times a year," Napoleon said.

As for Pearson, he is again headed back to court.

According to the Detroit Free Press, he was already facing up to 15 years for the earlier convictions. Now, he's facing an 11 additional charges connected to the escape, including assault with an intent to murder and impersonating a police officer.

His arraignment was expected Wednesday.


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