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Landers

Authorities recapture FC escapee

Franklin County escapee Richie O’Neal Landers has been recovered after his escape in February.

Landers was taken into custody on Alabama Highway 20 in Colbert County near the town of Leighton. The U.S. Marshal Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with investigators from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Colbert County Drug Task Force and deputies with the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office, took Landers and his wife Crystal Dawn Trail into custody after a brief struggle.

Landers and Trail were taken to the Franklin County Jail without further incident. Trail, who was out on bond after being charged for hindering prosecution first degree March 20 relating to the escape, was charged with an additional count of hindering prosecution first degree. The Franklin County District Attorney’s Office has been notified and will be filing to have the original bond revoked.

According to the FCSO, multiple arrests have been made in connection with the escape over the past few weeks with individuals involved in assisting and supporting Landers in his escape. As of the time of Landers recapture, arrested individuals were as follows:

  • Jimmie Stearns, Hackleburg, March 1, for hindering prosecution first degree.
  • Joshua Thornton, Russellville, Feb. 22, for facilitating escape first degree.
  • Martha Thornton, Russellville, Feb. 22, for hindering prosecution first degree.

The arrested individuals were apprehended by the United States Marshal Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, investigators with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and investigators with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation into Landers’ escape continues by the United States Marshal Service and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, which has worked tirelessly on the capture of the escapee. The FCSO said more arrests are expected.

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