Texas inmates back in jail after capture in barn

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A capital murder suspect and a convicted drug offender who were the subject of a two-day multiple agency manhunt after escaping a Texas jail are back in the lockup after being cornered in a barn some 20 miles away.

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, from which authorities say the two inmates fled on Tuesday.

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 the whereabouts of Tucker and King, Smith said.

Federal, state and local officers raided the barn where the men were hiding in Cooper, 20 miles northwest of Sulphur Springs.

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

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

Sheriff’s officials said the inmates fled the Hopkins County Jail on Tuesday by scaling a fence or slipping through a gap in a perimeter fence, sparking a manhunt in 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.

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