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Full News Release From Nebraska State Police

NEWS RELEASE

Mar.27, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEBRASKA STATE PATROL
www.nsp.state.ne.us
Contact: Capt. Rod Getting   402-440-0597
or Capt. Jim Parish 308-535-8047

Indiana Escapees Captured


Three Indiana fugitives were apprehended in Alliance, Nebraska Thursday evening (Mar. 26, 2009) following a 64 mile police pursuit with speeds up to 105 miles per hour.  The three, identified as 49 year old Christopher Marshall, 59 year old Jerry Sargent, and 31 year old Bobby Cockerell were serving prison sentences ranging from 20 to 50 years for drug distribution, robbery, unlawful confinement, and burglary, and sex offenses. They had escaped March 20th from the Branchville Correctional Facility near Tell City, Indiana.

It is also believed the three were responsible for a home invasion and vicious assault of the occupants of a rural residence in Kentucky.

Shortly before noon Thursday, March 26, 2009, law enforcement authorities in west-central Nebraska were advised to be on the lookout for the three fugitives.  Authorities had been alerted by the US Marshal's Service that the suspects may be in the region. Sometime in the morning, the suspects had stopped at a filling station in Thedford to have their vehicle repaired.  Approximately 6:00 PM CDT the mechanic contacted the Thomas County Sheriff's Department stating he recognized the three suspects from an internet photo.  The mechanic described the vehicle as a dark green minivan.

Approximately 5:00 PM CDT the Hooker County Sheriff's Department was contacted by an alert waitress at a restaurant in Mullen who recognized the three from news reports that had aired earlier. The three had been at the restaurant earlier in the day.  The Hooker County Sheriff located the suspect vehicle at a local motel and later observed two of the suspects return to the restaurant. Moments later, the suspects left the restaurant and returned to the motel. The third got into the vehicle with the other two and they proceeded westbound on Nebraska highway #2 from Mullen.  A Hooker County deputy sheriff followed the vehicle until he was joined by state troopers. 

Between Whitman and Hyannis, the troopers attempted to stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle accelerated and fled west bound on highway 2 at speeds up to 105 miles per hour. Several attempts to stop the vehicle were unsuccessful. The suspects were able to evade tire deflators and road blocks, continuing west bound.  

Just east of Alliance, Box Butte County deputies and a Hemingford Police officer  successfully deployed a tire deflator,  however the suspects continued westbound into Alliance but at a drastically reduced speed. After entering the city limits the minivan continued to slow down as it turned onto Potash Street.  As the vehicle slowed to nearly a stop, the three suspects fled. Two of the suspects were arrested by state troopers after a very short foot pursuit. The third suspect, who was armed with a semi-automatic handgun, fled down an alley and accosted a couple in a Ford Ranger pickup.  He got into the right side of the pickup and attempted to car- jack the vehicle. Within seconds, an officer from the Alliance Police Department removed the driver from the vehicle, protecting him from the would-be carjacker, and took the third suspect into custody without further incident.

The suspects' vehicle was found to contain numerous rifles and as well as hand guns, nearly $6000 in cash, and several other items taken in the Kentucky burglary. The three were housed in the Box Butte County Jail in Alliance where they await transfer of custody to the US Marshal's Service. 

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