The Richmond Register

Crime

February 21, 2013

Inmate who escaped work-release to serve an additional 5 years

RICHMOND — The inmate whose escape while on work-release led to the resignation of the Berea Street Department superintendent was sentenced Thursday to an additional five years in prison.

Christopher Northern, 36, pleaded guilty to second-degree escape. He could have received a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith agreed to recommend dismissing Northern’s indictment as a second-degree persistent felony offender.

Northern told Madison Circuit Court Judge Jean C. Logue he had received word his father was seriously ill, and he walked away from his work assignment at the Berea City Park on Aug. 30 so he could spend time with his ailing parent.

Northern was captured nearly three and a half months later by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Northern originally was arrested Jan. 27, 2012, and was held under a $5,000 bond. He was charged with four counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument, receiving stolen property (under $10,000) and probation violations for a felony offense, according to jail records.

The five-year sentence for escape will run consecutively with the two- and three-year sentences Northern is serving in the prior cases.

Because he already is serving time and there was no chance of probation, Northern waived his right to a presentencing investigation report and asked Logue to sentence him Thursday after he pleaded guilty.

Northern’s escape prompted city officials to conduct an administrative investigation of the street department, Mayor Steve Connelly reported earlier this week at a Berea city council meeting.

The investigation found inmates were not being properly supervised by street department employees. Work-release inmates were allowed to talk on cell phones and purchase items from gas stations that would be considered contraband back at the Madison County Detention Center, City Attorney J.T. Gilbert said.

Also uncovered was the fact wash bays were being used for personal vehicles, and city equipment was being loaned out to employees, Gilbert added.

As a result of these findings, three workers were required to take time off without pay, one was terminated and the department’s superintendent Tim Taylor resigned, Connelly said.

The work-release program with the Berea Street Department has been terminated, and the city will implement a whistleblower policy, Connelly said.

“Employees felt intimidated and did not want to come forward with information on what was apparently going on down there,” Gilbert said at the council meeting.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

1
Text Only
Crime
  • RPD: Man falls through ceiling attempting to elude police

    When Richmond Police went to Cody Shelton’s Kristin Drive apartment at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday to arrest him on a parole-violation charge, they said he attempted to elude them by hiding in the attic crawl space.

    July 18, 2014

  • Man indicted in Manhattan Club shooting

    A man charged in a May 20 shooting at the Manhattan Club in which a man was wounded was indicted Wednesday by a Madison County grand jury.

    July 17, 2014

  • 7-18 Aaron Tate.jpg Local burglary suspect found in Texas border town

    A man wanted in Madison County on burglary and criminal mischief charges since March was arrested July 11 by the U.S. Marshal Service in Brownsville, Texas, on the Mexican board.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mother pleads guilty to allowing child rape

    Deanna Lawson, charged with 20 counts of complicity in the rape and sodomy of a minor, pleaded guilty in Madison Circuit Court on Wednesday.
    Between October 2011 and September 2012, Eric Kelley had sexual relations with Lawson’s two daughters, according to court documents.
    She was charged with complicity after police said they learned Lawson knew of the crimes but didn’t try to stop them or alert authorities.

    July 12, 2014

  • No extra jail time for parents on prostitution charge

    Anthony and Kathy Hart, two Madison County residents who pleaded guilty May 21 to prostituting their daughters, won’t be seeing any extra time in jail.
    Both parents, who served time in jail while their charges were pending, were sentenced to probation Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.

    July 11, 2014

  • RPD arrests three on drug charges

    A couple is facing several charges after police said they sold drugs to an undercover officer late last year.
    In December 2013, the Richmond Police Narcotics Unit purchased a quantity of suboxone strips from Ryan Anderson, 30, and Chastity L. King, 28, on two occasions during a covert investigation, according to an RPD news release.

    July 11, 2014

  • Charges reduced against Detroit man who tried to elude police

    A Detroit man who led police in a brief vehicle chase May 8 and then attempted to hide in a ditch will spend 120 days in jail after pleading guilty to reduced charges Wednesday in Madison District Court.

    July 9, 2014

  • 7-10 Robert Farra.jpg Early Wednesday traffic stop leads to meth arrest

    An early Wednesday traffic stop by Madison County Sheriff’s deputies led to the driver’s arrest on meth-making charges.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police: Two flee on foot after vehicle chase

    Two people, who Richmond Police said fled on foot Monday after failing to yield to an officer attempting to make a traffic stop, were charged with several offenses.

    July 9, 2014

  • InmateImg072014ZZZ104919_07062014211838.jpg Police: Woman left children in car for 30 minutes

    A Berea woman is facing a first-degree wanton endangerment charge after police say she left her children in a car for 30 minutes while she was inside a store.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

What county fair attraction do you like most?

Amusement rides
Beauty pageants
Flora Hall craft exhibits
Horse shows
Livestock, poultry shows
Truck, tractor pulls
Mud, dirt races
Gospel sing
I like them all
     View Results