St. Mary

Feb 4, 2014 11:36 PM by Erin Steuber

Escapee Has History of Leaving Custody

Two inmates from St. Mary Parish are back behind bars after two days on the run. They were picked up in Lafayette Tuesday morning, and turns out at least one of them has escaped before. Christopher Horton and Joshua Folks are now facing additional charges of simple escape and criminal damage to property. St. Mary deputies say the men escaped after 10 PM Sunday night, but deputies didn't realize they were gone until 4 AM the next morning.

According to police, an alert was not issued until four hours later. We asked several times why there was such a delay, but the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office says they waited to send a notice until the entire facility was searched.

"There are some questions that should directly be answered. I'm basing it on the fact that I, as the chief law enforcement officer of the City of Patterson, was not notified. My citizens were in danger. Someone should have done more to notify us," said Patterson Police Chief Patrick Lasalle.

Some background on the inmates:

Christopher Horton is set to go to trial in April for the first-degree murder of his own brother. He was originally deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial, a decision, that was later reversed.

Joshua Folks was being held in connection with a Walmart theft ring.

This wasn't the first time Folks has been on the run. According to court records, he has a reputation for injuring himself in order to escape; Cutting himself, and even eating his own skin. He's then sent to the hospital, and it's there, where authorities say he takes advantage of less security.

"I don't think he's as mentally incapable as he wants everyone to believe. I just think he's a con artist that can withstand pain," said Clarke County Sheriff Ray Norris out of Alabama. Norris' deputies arrested Folks nearly a year ago for theft.

Folks' last escape was December 18th from a hospital in Alabama. Authorities say he was able to stowaway on a train to Louisiana and was arrested in New Iberia.

"We have to keep someone with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to watch him. If they take their eyes off him, he will escape any institution. He's that good," said Norris.

This time around Folks escaped from jail with fellow inmate Christopher Horton. According to the arrest warrant, the inmates, who were in neighboring cells, somehow got out through the ceiling. They were captured on surveillance video running toward railroad tracks and were not seen again until Tuesday morning, hiding in a tour bus near the tracks in Lafayette.

"It is a blessing in disguise that he was caught today because there is nothing Joshua Folks will not to do to stay free," said Norris.

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