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Man convicted of attempted murder escapes court with ride from juror

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. — A West Memphis man on trial for attempted murder fled the Crittenden County courthouse Wednesday while the jury deliberated.

West Memphis police say 32-year-old Madriekus Blakes walked out of the front door and didn't come back. They say he was able to move freely like that because he was out on bond and not in custody.

Police also say Blakes caught a ride home with a juror Tuesday night after arguments in the trial wrapped up. A bailiff says he saw Blakes get into an orange Camero. He says he noticed a juror driving that same Camero Wednesday morning. The man admitted to taking Blakes home. He claims they didn't talk about the case, but the judge decided to replace him with an alternate juror prior to deliberations.

We went to Blakes' listed address in West Memphis hoping a relative or friend might be home, but the property is a vacant lot.

Mattie Foster lives nearby. She claims her granddaughter dated Blakes years ago but broke up with him when he tried to hit her during an argument.

"He's crazy," Foster said. "That's why she quit fooling with him."

The verdict was read, even though Blakes escaped. He was convicted on two counts of attempted murder after he allegedly fired shots at a man and his father at a convenience store in 2018.

Blakes will face additional charges if he's caught. He'll also be sentenced on his two attempted murder convictions. The jury recommended 40 years in prison.

If you've seen Blakes, please call West Memphis police at (870)-735-1210.

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