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Escaped inmates captured Monday

By By Adam Prestridge
Two inmates who had been on the run for nearly a week after escaping from an Atmore work release detail last Wednesday afternoon are back behind bars after being captured early Monday morning in Pensacola.
According to Alabama Department of Corrections Public Information Manager Brian Corbett, deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department of Florida took inmates John Paul Rice, 42, and Charles Douglas Bales, 34, back into custody at 7:54 a.m. after a “Crime Stoppers phone tip” led them to the Palm Court Inn &Suites.
The inmates walked off the job site on Ridgeley Street in Atmore just after 1 p.m. on Sept. 17. Authorities were notified of the escape and called in the state’s tracking dogs in hopes a quick recapture. Shortly after the dogs arrived, they lost the inmates’ scent and called off the search.
According to Corbett, both men were nearing the end of their prison terms. Rice was arrested in his native Baldwin County in 1997 for burglary and receiving stolen property. He was up for possible parole in June 2010. Bales was arrested in his native Blount County in 2002 for robbery. His sentence was to expire on June 22, 2010.
With the escape, Corbett said the men will now serve additional terms and will most likely be behind bars for several years to come. He said they would also be removed from Atmore Community Work Center, Fountain Prison’s work camp.
As of press time Tuesday evening, the inmates had not signed extradition papers and were still behind bars at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department in Pensacola.