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Man who fled Crittenden courthouse during trial back in custody

Mardriekus Blakes

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. — A West Memphis man who fled the Crittenden County courthouse while a jury deliberated his case last month is back in police custody.

Mardriekus Blakes, 32, was picked up by county deputies Thursday in West Memphis, authorities said. The capture came thanks to a Crime Stoppers tip.

Blakes was on trial for conspiracy to commit capital murder and other charges when he walked out of the front door of the courthouse and didn’t come back July 31. Authorities said he was able to move freely because he was out on bond.

The day before, police said Blakes had caught a ride home from the trial with a juror, who was replaced with an alternate juror the next day.

A $2,000 reward had been offered for information leading to Blakes’ arrest.

Authorities said Blakes would 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.

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