By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A Mercer County man whose escape attempt bought him five extra minutes of freedom may get up to five extra years in prison.
Fred Thomas Prince, 32, of the Princeton area was arraigned Friday morning in Bluefield magistrate court on charges including three counts of grand larceny, five counts of breaking and entry into automobiles, four counts of petty larceny and three destruction of property, said Lt. Joe Parks of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department. Magistrate Susan Honaker set Prince’s bond at $100,000 cash only.
This high bond did not please Prince, said Senior Deputy W.C. Wilborn, who filed the escape charge.
“He was upset the magistrate set it that high, and took off,” Wilborn said as he filled out his report.
Prince was locked in handcuffs and shackles when he tried to escape just before 11 a.m.
“His hands and feet were restrained, which made him real easy to catch,” Parks said.
After being arraigned, Prince was locked in a detention cell, but he somehow managed to get the door open and flee from the building, Parks said. How Prince got the door open is still under investigation.
When Prince left the Bluefield Municipal Building, he jumped down the hill alongside the structure and toward Bluefield Avenue. He was found hiding in some weeds at the foot of the hill, Parks said. Deputies apprehended him with help from Patrolman N.J.W. Allen and his K-9 partner Rocky.
Prince’s bid for freedom lasted five minutes. He now faces up to five years in prison for felony escape, Parks added.
A second arraignment on the escape charge was conducted before Prince was remanded to the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.