Fugitive returns to Kentucky on state airplane

kward1@herald-leader.comJuly 23, 2013 

The plane normally used to transport the governor on Tuesday was used to bring escaped fugitive John C. Buckley IV back to Kentucky from Laramie, Wyo.

Buckley was convicted of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, fourth-degree assault and second-degree unlawful imprisonment in Fayette Circuit Court in July 2012, but he escaped from the courthouse before sentencing.

He was captured in Wyoming in May but fought extradition.

Because of Buckley's "flight risk," Sheriff Kathy Witt said she asked state police for their assistance in transporting Buckley using the state airplane "in order to ensure the safety of all those involved."

Typically, she said, representatives of her office fly on commercial airlines for prisoner transports of more than 500 miles.

"We don't feel we could have done it safely" in this case, she said at a news conference at the Fayette County Detention Center on Tuesday night.

Buckley was brought to the jail at about 7:30 p.m., after the plane landed in Frankfort.

Witt said Buckley will appear in court later this week. He faces additional charges for first-degree bail jumping, tampering with a prisoner monitoring device and two counts of contempt of court.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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