Updated: Police Hunt for Man in Cornfield
John Lee Davis was supposed to get 30 days in jail for retail fraud, but after fleeing from the court and being hunted down in a cornfield by police he's looking at a much longer sentence. Video by fox47news.comvideo
John Lee Davis fled from the Eaton County Courthouse during sentencing Wednesday around 11 a.m. The escape led to a two-hour police manhunt in a 700 acre cornfield.
"He decided he wasn't going to go to jail today, I guess," said Chief Deputy Brian Peacock of the Eaton County Sheriff's office.
Michigan State Police, Charlotte Police and the Eaton County Sheriff's office all worked together to recover Davis. The 21 year-old is from Lansing. He was out on bail and had come to the courthouse to be sentenced for a third offense of retail fraud. What started as a standard sentencing, quickly transformed into an all out manhunt.
"Well nobody's locked in the courthouse. It's a lot harder to get into the courthouse, passing through security than it is to get out through any of the fire exits. It's got to be an exitable building being a public building," said Chief Deputy Peacock.
Two canine units, a helicopter and nearly a dozen police searched the field that is just north of the courthouse. After about two hours Davis was arrested by one of the k-9 units.
Eaton County district schools--- including Washington Elementary--- were put on a lock-down situation as a precaution.
"And again, we were just doing that to be safe. We had no indication that he was armed or dangerous but we want to make sure that everyone is going to be safe. And we're not going to take any chances," said Eaton County Sheriff Mike Raines.
The 2,800 students' parents were texted, called and emailed through the school emergency response system informing them of the situation.
It had a lot of people on edge.
"An action like this isn't really going to help his sentencing in the future. There's going the possibility that other charges will be added on," said Peacock.
No one was hurt during the manhunt.
Tonight Davis is in the same jail that he had hoped to avoid, and now it's likely he will remain there for much longer than 30 days.
The Eaton County Sheriff's office says Davis will probably be arraigned on the new charges Thursday morning.
CHARLOTTE - Eaton County deputies are beating the bushes north of the county's courthouse for a man who ran-off after receiving a 30 day jail sentence. Helicopters and dogs are being employed to track down the man.
Eaton County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said that around 11 o'clock the man had just been sentenced to 30 days, and didn't like it, so he bolted from the courthouse into a nearby cornfield. The spokesperson did not know specifically for what crime he was sentenced. She said he was unarmed. She says once he's caught, he'll likely spend a lot of additional time behind bars.
MSP is sending a helicopter to aid in the search in this rural area just north of Charlotte.