Escaped inmate captured

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An inmate who walked away from a work crew in Andalusia nine years ago has been apprehended by officials in Orange County, Fla., Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks announced Tuesday.

Meeks said Charles Daniel Pierce was arrested on July 8, for failing to show up for a court appearance over a citation for possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Meeks said Pierce gave officers the alias of Eddie Ludean Pierce, but while being booked into jail, officials discovered his true identity, along with his outstanding warrants.

“He has warrants in Bay County, Fla. around Panama City that are felonies,” Meeks said. “And of course, he has warrants here.”
Meeks said, at the time of his escape, Pierce was serving a three-year prison sentence for theft of property I and receiving stolen property I and was regarded as a “trusty” and allowed to work outside of the correctional facility.

“He walked away from an Andalusia Police Department work detail on March 28, 2005,” Meeks said. According to Star-News archives, Pierce made his getaway in an Andalusia

Utility Department truck. In 2006, authorities in Panama City, Fla., engaged in a high-speed chase with Pierce, ultimately resulting in the recovery of the utility department truck. Pierce, however, escaped without apprehension.

Meeks said the arrest is proof that eventually even a relatively small infraction can lead to the arrest of wanted fugitives. Meeks added that how and when Pierce will extradited back to Covington County is still up in the air.

“At this point, we don’t know exactly how things will transpire,” Meeks said. “They could dismiss the warrants in Orange County and send him on to us; they could send him to Bay County first since they are also in Florida; or he could have to face charges in both places first, which could take anywhere from two to five years.”

Regardless of the order, Meeks said it is positive step that Pierce is back within the penal system.

“We’re glad he was finally caught,” Meeks said. “As long as he’s in jail somewhere and eventually we’ll get him, we’re good with it.”

On top of his existing charges in Covington County, Meeks said Pierce would also face a charge of felony escape I.