Fugitive nabbed in Aspen after bolting from courthouse
July 13, 2010
ASPEN, Colorado – A manhunt through the west side of Aspen lasted all of about 7 minutes Monday before authorities nabbed Warren Carter behind the Red Brick Arts Center.
Carter, 45, became a fugitive shortly after Judge James Boyd sentenced him to three years in the state Department of Corrections for a theft conviction. Following Boyd’s sentencing, Carter beelined it out of the courtroom, down a flight of stairs, and out of the west entrance of the courthouse, observers said.
“He was flying,” said sheriff’s Deputy Michael Kendrick, who was sitting directly outside of the courtroom, in his role as security, when Carter took flight. Kendrick said Carter was too fast to catch. Instead, he immediately radioed law officials that Carter had fled.
Police and deputy were seen racing through the eastern side of the West End, drawing the attention of onlookers. Some cops were in vehicles, some on foot, and others on bicycles.
“When we hear a call like that, we all go running,” said Bill Linn, assistant police chief.
Linn was among the deputies and police officers who combed the area west of the courthouse, looking for Carter. There were reports that he was in the area near Clark’s Market and the KSNO radio station on Mill Street.
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One West End resident, who declined to be identified, said Carter dashed through his yard.
“Someone ran through the yard and he had blood on his face,” the resident said. “We had a short conversation about trespassing but I guess that wasn’t on the top of his list at the time.”
Eventually officers found Carter hunkered down in some scrub near the path to Hallam Lake.
Sheriff’s Deputy Debbie Kendrick, who was in the courtroom at the time Carter allegedly fled, was able to coax him into surrendering. Aiding in the arrest was Officer Tina Schairer of the Aspen Police Department.
After he was apprehended, a visibly angry Carter, who was unarmed, shouted expletives at officers and deputies.
“This is f—ing bull shit. What kind of shit is this?” Carter told officers as they loaded him into a police vehicle. He also complained that there were more serious crimes being committed than his.
Prosecutor Arnold Mordkin said it’s doubtful he’ll file new charges against Carter. The three-year stint in state prison, he suggested, is enough.
Carter had been out on $5,000 bond and living in Denver before Monday’s sentencing, which stemmed from his October 2008 arrest for stealing copper wiring from The Residences at Little Nell in Aspen.
As part of a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to the class-four felony of burglary of a building, in exchange for dismissal of six other charges.
Carter has an extensive police record that includes arrests for burglary, forgery and trespassing, among others.
He joins some dubious company, as far as courthouse break-outs go. On June 7, 1977, serial killer Ted Bundy leaped out of the courtroom’s library window during a court recess. He was on the lam six days before a deputy pulled him over because the Cadillac he was driving was weaving and its headlights were dim.
According to Sheriff Bob Braudis, the Bundy incident was the last time someone in custody busted loose from the courthouse.