Woman in hand­cuffs sen­tenced to prison af­ter es­cape at­tempt

El Dorado News-Times - - Front Page - By Cait­lan But­ler Staff Writer

Ebonee J. Bell, 33, of Smack­over was sen­tenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions on Thurs­day af­ter at­tempt­ing to es­cape po­lice cus­tody in late Septem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, on Sept. 28, a man re­ported his ve­hi­cle stolen to the El Do­rado Po­lice Depart­ment. He de­scribed the ve­hi­cle as a red 1987 Cadil­lac Brougham. A deputy with the Union County Sher­iff’s Of­fice lo­cated the ve­hi­cle about an hour later on Cham­pag­nolle Road.

The deputy con­ducted a traf­fic stop wherein he took Bell, who was driv­ing the ve­hi­cle, into cus­tody for unau­tho­rized use of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle. He placed her in the front seat of his pa­trol ve­hi­cle then re­turned to the stolen ve­hi­cle, where he planned to check on a small child that was asleep in the front seat.

While the deputy was away from his pa­trol car, Bell man­aged to move into the driver’s seat and move her cuffed hands to her front. The deputy re­al­ized she was pre­par­ing to leave in his ve­hi­cle and at­tempted to stop her, but had to let go of his door han­dle when she be­gan driv­ing.

Us­ing a GPS tracker in­stalled in the ve­hi­cle, UCSO of­fi­cers were able to lo­cate the pa­trol car later that day. It was found run­ning but aban­doned in front of a res­i­dence on Coun­try Road.

Court doc­u­ments note that a ra­dio mi­cro­phone was dam­aged dur­ing the es­cape at­tempt and a GPS de­vice was dis­cov­ered to be miss­ing.

Bell was lo­cated a cou­ple of hours later un­der the res­i­dence on Coun­try Road. Of­fi­cers in­structed her to show her hands and get on the ground. She did show her still-cuffed hands, but would not get on the ground. An of­fi­cer force­fully placed her on the ground, ac­cord­ing to

court doc­u­ments, and was able to re-cuff her hands be­hind her back as well as place leg hob­bles on her.

In court Thurs­day, Bell pleaded guilty to theft of prop­erty over $25,000 and third-de­gree es­cape. Ini­tially, she was also fac­ing charges of flee­ing in a ve­hi­cle caus­ing dan­ger, ag­gra­vated as­sault and re­sist­ing ar­rest. For all the charges com­bined, she faced up to 100 years in prison and one year in jail.

Bell was sen­tenced to 10years in the ADC for third-de­gree es­cape and 20 years sus­pended im­po­si­tion of sen­tence (SIS) for theft of prop­erty. SIS is es­sen­tially pro­ba­tion, un­less the convicted per­son re-of­fends, in which case they could face harsher penal­ties than nor­mal pro­ba­tion­ers. Bell was also or­dered to pay costs and fees.


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