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Search for escapee continues

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Police believe Wilson 'simply walked away'

By Sarah Bennett

Police continue to search for a Hardin County Detention Center inmate who walked away from custody Oct. 5.

Robert W. Wilson, 23, of Elizabethtown, was lodged at the jail Oct. 1 for violating conditions of his bond release. He originally was indicted in April on charges of second-degree rape.

The case still is pending in Hardin Circuit Court.

Jailer Danny Allen said Wilson was at the former jail site on South Mulberry Street for drug and alcohol education classes.

Since being lodged, Wilson was “mouthy” and repeatedly made statements “he wasn’t supposed to be here,” Allen said Thursday.

Because of his behavior, a deputy at the site was preparing for Wilson to be transported back to the main facility on U.S. 31W, Allen said.

Kentucky State Police is investigating the escape. According to a KSP news release, jail staff told a trooper a door to the outside activity area was not locked.

Though the outside gate was locked, it still could be opened and closed, police said.

“It is believed that Wilson simply walked away,” the release reads.

Allen said Judge Ken Howard ordered Wilson to participate in a pretrial substance abuse program known as SAP. Classes are held at the former jail.

Although the offense with which Wilson is charged is alleged to have occurred in 2009 and proceeded through Hardin District Court, Wilson was not indicted until April. According to court records, he has been out on bond and monitored by Pretrial Services.

Records indicate Wilson failed several drug screenings, and upon indictment, Howard added a bond condition of weekly drug screenings.

According to the indictment, Wilson engaged in sexual intercourse with a girl younger than 15. Forcible contact is not alleged.

According to Howard’s release decision, the judge did not find Wilson to be a danger to others.

Police describe Wilson as a white male, 6-foot-1 and 150 pounds. He has blond hair, blue eyes, a light complexion and slim build.

KSP encourages anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact Post 4 at (270) 766-5078 or (800) 222-5555.

Though Wilson escaped Oct. 5, information about the incident was not released to media until nearly a week later.

Jailer Danny Allen, who was on vacation at the time of the escape, said there is no protocol about contacting the media about an escape.

Allen said the jail staff contacted area law enforcement agencies but not the media.

“Normally, I’m the one who calls the media,” he said. “The staff just didn’t think of it.” A “unique” circumstance, Allen said, is KSP also did not release information to the media until a week later.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett @thenewsenterprise.com.