U.S. Marshals catch escaped Lawrence County inmate in Missouri

James F. Lundry (Source: Lawrence County Sheriff's Department)
James F. Lundry (Source: Lawrence County Sheriff's Department)

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – An inmate who walked away from work detail has been caught in Butler County.

According to Pocahontas Police Chief Cecil Tackett, James Lundry was caught by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Fisk, Missouri. Troopers made the arrest after receiving information from the U.S. Marshals Office based in Jonesboro.

Lundry surrendered without a struggle and will await extradition back to either Randolph or Lawrence County to face multiple charges.

Police Chief Tackett says Lundry was still in the stolen Pontiac minivan and was arrested with the bulletproof vest in his possession, but the stolen .40 caliber handgun and ammo is still missing.

Tackett says the 39-year-old Lundry stole a van from the Taylor-Cox Funeral Home over the weekend and says Lundry also stole a .40 caliber handgun, ammo, a bulletproof vest, and a knife from a police officer's home.

Tackett says Lundry threatened the officer's wife with the gun to be quiet when she found him inside. He also says Lundry shot a family pit bull in the muzzle, knocking out its teeth; Lundry shot two more rounds into the house before leaving.

During the search, Pocahontas Superintendent Darrell Blaxton put all schools on a modified lock down. That meant all of the classrooms inside the building were locked, and there was limited access to the school from outside doors. Blaxton tells Region 8 News it was done simply as a precaution.

On Saturday Police Chief Tackett says Lundry was found by a caretaker living in an abandoned house. Before the caretaker could contact police, Lundry escaped into the woods.

The search Friday when, according to the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, Lundry walked away from work detail at the Walnut Ridge City Park while the work crew was on lunch break around 12:30 p.m.

Police say a short time after he walked away, Lundry was seen in a stolen vehicle--a black 2001 Ford Expedition--driving by his estranged wife's home in Pocahontas.  The vehicle was found Saturday morning around 3 a.m. and is in an impound lot being processed for evidence, says the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.

Members of the Arkansas State Police, Randolph County Sheriff's Department, U.S. Marshal's Office, and the Pocahontas Police Department assisted in the search.

Lundry was in jail on charges of illegally using food stamps and has been arrested by the Pocahontas Police Department on at least one other previous occasion.

Region 8 news does have a reporter in Pocahontas and will continue to track this story and bring you any new updates as soon as they become available.

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