Escaped Texas murderer captured at North Carolina hotel one week after breakout - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Escaped Texas murderer captured at North Carolina hotel one week after breakout

Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ An escaped Texas murderer was arrested at a North Carolina hotel on Saturday, almost a week after he overpowered a corrections officer and fled in a pickup truck.

John William Roland III, 33, was arrested around 5 p.m. after police negotiated with him for about an hour, said Lt. Tom Earnhardt of the Raleigh Police Department.

Police evacuated the fourth floor of the Red Roof Inn where Roland was staying and made contact with him by phone. During negotiations, Roland made threats on himself and toward police, but eventually gave up peacefully, Earnhardt said.

There were no weapons found in the room and Roland was alone.

``We were very pleased that no one was hurt during this surrender,'' Earnhardt said.

Parked outside the hotel was the gray pickup truck belonging to Sgt. Wesley Hurt, the prison guard Roland attacked before dawn on Feb. 17.

Roland had been tracked to the Red Roof Inn through a stolen credit card, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Larry Todd said.

``We plan to file felony escape charges against him, which could get him another life sentence since he used a weapon in assaulting the sergeant during the escape,'' Todd said.

Roland was serving a life term at the Robertson Unit, near Abilene, for gunning down former roommate Thomas Columbus Barrett. He had been in prison since 1993.

Hurt was treated at a hospital for cuts and scrapes. He told investigators Roland had threatened to kill him before the inmate took his keys and drove away in his truck. Prison officials are conducting an internal investigation into the breakout.

The manhunt heated up Thursday when a credit card belonging to Hurt was used at a motel in Missouri, then later at a Super Kmart in Terre Haute, Ind. The shopper, believed to be the fugitive, left the store about five minutes before police arrived.

The FBI, along with a SWAT team from the local police department, tracked him Saturday afternoon to the hotel where he was captured.

John Moriarty, the prison system's inspector general, said authorities detected that Roland was placing phone calls as they closed in on his room.

``Roland called his father and his mother, who were very instrumental in getting him to surrender without injury to himself or others,'' Todd said.

Roland was in the custody of Raleigh police Saturday evening. It was unclear when an extradition hearing would be scheduled, Earnhardt said.
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