Lawrence escapee arrested after chase into NH

Breanna Edelstein, The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.
·2 min read

Apr. 20—SANDOWN — Officials say an escapee from the Essex County Pre-release and Re-entry Center in Lawrence was arrested 20 miles north in Sandown, New Hampshire, Tuesday morning.

According to Sandown Administrative Sgt. Andrew Artimovich, Massachusetts State Police put out a regional notice alerting law enforcement that the fugitive had taken off in a stolen car.

Sandown police took over a multi-town chase about 9:07 a.m., according to the sergeant, after follow-up notification that the driver was already followed through multiple nearby New Hampshire towns.

"On-Star (an in-vehicle safety and security system) was able to disable the car here," Artimovich said, noting the driver was eventually arrested after a foot chase.

He identified the man as Joshua Morley, 20, with a last known address of 890 Amesbury Road in Haverhill.

Records show Morley was arrested last year for elbowing a police officer in the face and using a knife to threaten another who attempted to take him into custody for a car theft.

He has been in custody of the Essex County Sheriff's Department since an October 2020 sentencing. Officials say he was moved from the Middleton House of Corrections to the lower-security Lawrence center on April 6.

Tuesday morning, officials said Morley was driving a 2020 Chevy Impala stolen from Commonwealth Motors. The car dealership is a quarter mile from where Morley was most recently held.

According to Artimovich, Morley was alone when taken into police custody and driven to Rockingham County Jail.

Morley is now charged with possession of stolen property, disobeying police, reckless conduct, driving without a license and being a fugitive from justice, records show. Charges are expected to be added by Lawrence and Plaistow police.

Officers from Hampstead, Fremont, Chester, New Hampshire Fish and Game, the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, and the Auburn K-9 unit assisted with the response.