WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (KAIT) - Law enforcement officers are looking for a Crittenden County man found guilty this week in an attempted murder case, who hitched a ride with a juror during a recess and left before he was sentenced.
According to a media release from Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, Madriekus Blakes was convicted of two counts of attempted first-degree murder and four counts of committing a terroristic act in connection with a shooting Sept. 27, 2018 at the South Avalon Flash Market in West Memphis.
At the time, police said Blakes and another man had been arguing over money that Blakes claimed the man owed him.
Ellington said Circuit Judge John Fogleman, who presided over the case, had recessed jurors Tuesday with jury deliberations set Wednesday.
“Blakes was seen leaving the courthouse parking lot in an orange Camaro. Bailiffs saw the Camaro return Wednesday morning and noticed a juror getting out of the vehicle,” Ellington said. “Fogleman questioned the juror who admitted to driving Blakes home. The juror said he and Blakes ‘did not talk about the case’ during the trip.'"
Fogleman then excused the juror and named an alternate, Ellington said.
Blakes then left the courthouse in Marion.
Authorities said Blakes was last seen walking on East Military Road.
Blakes was sentenced to 20 years in prison on the attempted murder counts and was given a $5,000 fine for the four committing a terroristic act counts, Ellington said.