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Child Rapist Who Escaped Arkansas Prison on Jet Ski Caught at West Virginia Hotel With His Family: Officials

Police Apprehend Child Rapist That Escaped Prison on Jet Ski
Source: Arkansas Department of Corrections

Samuel Hartman was bloodied up after being apprehended one year after escaping prison.

Aug. 30 2023, Published 4:03 p.m. ET

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After a year-long pursuit, the US Marshals Service announced they have successfully apprehended a convicted child rapist who made a daring escape from an Arkansas prison using a jet ski. The capture also includes the arrest of family members accused of aiding his flight by firing shots at a correction officer.

Samuel Hartman, 39, who was sentenced to life in prison for the rape of his 14-year-old stepdaughter, had been on the lam since Aug. 12, 2022, when his wife and mother allegedly helped him escape while he was participating in a work detail near the East Arkansas Regional Unit prison, according to the US Marshals Service.

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The two women — Misty Hartman, 39, and Linda Annette White, 61 — allegedly drove a pickup truck to the field and started shooting at a corrections officer as Hartman ran to get inside the truck, according to officials.

The group is accused of then driving to the nearby Mississippi River, where they had two jet skis ready to help them flee the area.

Investigators later found the jet skis abandoned on the Mississippi side of the river. Detectives spoke with a witness, who said they saw a man and two women riding them across the water, according to authorities.

During the investigation, detectives determined White had ties to West Virginia.

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On Aug. 29, Hartman was caught at a Quality Inn in Lewisburg, West Virginia, with his wife, his mother and his mother’s boyfriend, officials said.

Hartman’s face was bloodied during his arrest, but officials declined to provide further details about what caused the injuries.

Misty Hartman and White were also arrested, but authorities did not disclose if they would be facing charges.

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White’s boyfriend, 52-year-old Rodney Trent, was also arrested and charged with allegedly harboring a sex offender and for assisting the trio while on the run, the Marshals Service said.

All of the suspects are expected to be extradited to Arkansas.

Before his escape, Hartman had been in jail since 2013 on the child rape charges.


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