Escaped inmate back in custody

·2 min read

Aug. 5—An inmate who ran from a county work crew in July is back in custody after turning himself in to authorities in Kansas.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said deputies went and picked up 27-year-old Christian Allan Franklin from the Johnson County, Kansas Jail and brought him back to the Pittsburg County Jail.

Morris said Franklin was in Olathe, Kansas when he turned himself in to authorities. The Kansas City suburb is located 312 miles from McAlester.

"He was just up there on the streets, and he seen an officer and turned himself in," Morris said.

Franklin was working as a trusty with a county crew from District 1 on July 20.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines "trusty" as "a convict considered trustworthy and allowed special privileges."

When the crew went to the McDonald's in McAlester for lunch, the inmate fled.

Court records show Franklin is now facing a felony charge of escaping from a county jail along with his previous held charges of DUI, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and paraphernalia. He is also being held on motions to revoke charges of DUI, larceny of an automobile and malicious injury to property.

In response to the runaway inmate, Morris said all inmate work crews have been temporarily shut down except for the trash crew and work at the Pittsburg County Expo under enhanced security.

Morris said if his department does decide to restart the inmate work program with the county commissioners, the county workers assigned to watch over the inmates would have to watch the inmate worker's every move.

"We told them their people needed to start watching them better," Morris said. "They can't go anywhere by themselves, got to keep their eyes on them at all times."

The sheriff also said that the situation Franklin was in should have never happened.

"What happened shouldn't have happened," Morris said. "He should have never been allowed to go into McDonald's."

Morris said he is also looking at options for GPS monitoring that is worn by the inmate worker.

"If we incur a cost on that, we may have to put the cost back on whoever takes the trusty," Morris said.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com