Woman in handcuffs sentenced to prison after escape attempt
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.