Father Who Fled While Out Of Jail For Son's Kidney Test Captured

Thursday, April 26th 2007, 7:35 am
By: News On 6

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ A federal prisoner was arrested in Mexico after fleeing while temporarily released from custody to see if he could donate a kidney to his son.

Byron Keith Perkins and his girlfriend, Lea Ann Howard, were arrested Wednesday in Puerto Vallarta and were being flown to Los Angeles for a court hearing Thursday. The appearance will be to arrange for their return to Louisville, where they will face federal charges, the U.S. Marshals Service in Louisville said in a statement.

Perkins failed to return to custody in January 2006 after being released to undergo compatibility tests to see whether he could donate the kidney.

Perkins had been in jail awaiting sentencing for marijuana distribution and unlawful transport of firearms. He faced at least 25 years for those charges, which were filed while he was serving a supervised release from a North Carolina sentence for bank robbery.

Destin, who is now 17, said in a telephone interview Wednesday night on CNN's ``Anderson Cooper 360'' show that he received a kidney last summer from an anonymous donor and was doing fine.

The teen, who was making semiweekly trips from his south-central Kentucky home for dialysis last year, said he was relieved his father had been caught.

``It's a pretty bad thing that he did,'' he said. ``I don't know how he could lay his head down at night knowing he ran away and left me up here to die like that.''