Convicted murderer captured on roof of prison

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BRICKEYS, Ark. — Authorities in Arkansas have canceled an alert after the escaped inmate was found on the roof of the prison.

Officials at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys, which is about 45 miles southwest of Memphis, issued the alert after Calvin Adams turned up missing following a unit-wide count.

WREG’s Jerrita Patterson said horses, helicopters, K9s and ATVs were all being utilized in the search for Adams on Monday.

He was found early Tuesday morning on top of the roof.

Adams was convicted of capital murder in 1994 in the kidnapping and shooting death the year earlier of 25-year-old Richard Austin.

Residents of Leachville, the town of the murder, said the pain of that tragedy still resonated all these years later.

“It was just kind of devastating to everyone,” resident Jake Ballard said. “Something you don’t expect in a little town like this.”

Austin’s wife was wounded and walked for more than a mile to get help.

“He was just a really a wonderful, great person,” Ballard said. “It’s a tragedy it had to happen to someone like that. I was on the fire duty the night his vehicle got set on fire there.”

After his reported escape, people were worried about where Adams could be and what it could mean for them.

“It’s kind of strange someone can get away like that, and hopefully nothing will become of it here in our town,” Kelle Snyder said. “He has nothing to lose. So why would he not come back? He obviously has some anger issues to kidnap someone.”

The Arkansas Department of Corrections said Tuesday on Facebook that Adams had been transferred from medium security in East Arkansas to Varner Supermax.

According to court documents and reports, this was not the first time Adams has escaped from custody.

In October 2009, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that Adams escaped from another facility by donning a prison guard uniform and identification card. He was caught several days later in New York.

He was sentenced to an additional six years for that escape.

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