Pierce pleads guilty

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A man who spent more than nine years on the run, after walking away from a work release crew in Andalusia pleaded guilty recently to escape II.

Circuit Judge Lex Short handed down a 15-year sentence to Charles Daniel Pierce, 63, who walked away from the Andalusia Police Department where he was a trustee on March 28, 2005 and was recaptured on July 8, 2014 in Orange County, Fla.

Pierce was using the alias of Eddie Ludean Pierce when Orange County officials discovered they were actually dealing with an escapee from Covington County, Ala.

Pierce was brought back to Covington County on Aug. 29, 2014.

As Pierce was taken into the jail, he said he was “ready to get this over with,” and that he escaped on his own in March 2005.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said during a press conference in 2014 that Pierce was sentenced to three years in February 2005 after he violated his probation when he didn’t abide by a protection from abuse order. He was being held on a grand jury indictment for theft of property and receiving stolen property, according to Star-News archives. While serving his sentence, he became a trusty with the Andalusia Police Department and in March 2005, he walked away from a work detail around 6:30 p.m. At the time of his escape, then-APD Chief Wilbur Williams told the Star-News that his department had gotten Pierce about eight days before.

Pierce also used an Andalusia Utility Department truck for his getaway vehicle.

The truck was recovered in 2006, after Pierce was engaged in a high-speed chase in Panama City, Fla.

District Attorney Walt Merrell represented the state.

“Escape is a serious crime and we treat it as such,” he said. “Sheriff Meeks has told me that to his knowledge, this is the longest an escapee has avoided capture from Covington County. Ironically, if Pierce had remained in custody, he would have already served his previous sentence and be a free man today.”

Attorney Mark Christensen represented Pierce.