Authorities apprehend man who escaped from Stilwell jail

Wednesday, December 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILWELL, Okla. (AP) _ Authorities have captured a jail escapee who had been on the loose for more than a month.

Marcus Soap, 21, was found passed out and drunk in a vehicle southeast of Stilwell, said Sheriff Charles Hartshorne.

He and Jimmy Dale Harper, 22, escaped from the city jail Nov. 12. Harper was captured at an Adair County home within hours of the escape.

Soap had been moved from the county jail to the city jail because of overcrowding, officials said. He was being held on felony charges arising from an attack on an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper.

Soap was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Robby Billy, who allegedly tried to run over Trooper Coby Cross at a roadblock west of Westville in October. Cross opened fire on Billy's vehicle as it sped toward him and Billy was shot once in the head and once in the chest. Billy survived.

Harper, a jail trusty who was serving time for traffic fines, gave Soap knives, spoons and forks that Soap used to dig his way out through an air-conditioning duct into a locked lounge area in the police department, said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Jones.

Harper unlocked the door, and both men walked out through the front door, officials said.

They are now being held at the county jail.