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FCSO captures wanted felon

A wanted felon is now in custody because of efforts from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Nov. 29, 2018, a FCSO deputy was on patrol in the area of Alabama Highway 172 in Hodges. The deputy witnessed an individual who he identified as having felony arrest warrants. The deputy confirmed the warrants and identified the suspect as Richie O’Neal Landers, 45, 145 Mia Lane, Russellville.

According to the FCSO, the deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle that Landers was driving. After the deputy initiated his lights and siren, Landers began to flee, and the deputy initiated a pursuit.

During the pursuit, which continued through the far southwestern part of Franklin County, Landers went onto a private drive in the town of Hodges. While traveling down the drive, Landers turned around and struck the deputy head on.

The deputy was able to get back on the highway and follow Landers back to Alabama Highway 172. During this time, Landers again intentionally struck the deputy’s patrol vehicle, according to the FCSO report. Landers then exited his vehicle and fled on foot. A search was initiated, but Landers was able to evade deputies that night.

Jan. 4, after a lengthy investigation and search, Landers was found by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force and Investigators with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to be hiding at a residence in Hodges.

Landers exited the residence, located on Highway 172, and got into a vehicle. At that point U.S. Marshals and FCSO investigators were able to take him into custody without further incident.

Landers was charged with attempted first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief second degree and felony probation violation. Landers is under investigation for other felony offenses, and more charges are expected.