Winchester man accused of hiding fugitive in bunker under mobile home

bestep@herald-leader.comSeptember 1, 2014 

A Winchester man has been accused of hiding a federal fugitive whom police found hiding in a bunker beneath the man's mobile home.

William E. Ferrell, 40, was indicted on one count of unlawfully harboring or concealing Aprille Hutsinpiller, 36, who was wanted in northern Indiana on a charge of fleeing to avoid prosecution in a child-custody case, according to court records.

Ferrell was Hutsinpiller's boyfriend, according to a court document.

Authorities arrested Ferrell on July 30, and he was indicted last week.

H. John Whitehead, a special agent in the Lexington FBI office, said in a sworn statement that authorities got information that Hutsinpiller might be at Ferrell's mobile home on Irvine Road in Clark County.

Whitehead said in the statement that he saw Hutsinpiller and her 9-year-old daughter outside Ferrell's mobile home, then saw them go inside.

Police also saw Ferrell walking around the mobile home with a gun, according to the affidavit.

When police approached, Ferrell ran out of the woods asking what was going on, and police saw he had two guns, Whitehead said.

Officers took Ferrell's guns and told him there was a warrant for Hutsinpiller's arrest, but Ferrell told them no one was in the trailer, Whitehead said.

He said he heard movement in the trailer, but police couldn't find anyone, and Ferrell wouldn't say where Hutsinpiller and her daughter were.

Police finally found a trap door in the floor of a bedroom that led to under the trailer, but they didn't see the woman or her daughter.

When officers moved pieces of siding on the ground under the trailer, they found what Whitehead called an "underground bunker."

Hutsinpiller and her daughter were hiding inside. Police arrested Hutsinpiller, Whitehead said.

Hutsinpiller said Ferrell told her that whenever police came, she and her daughter needed to hide in the hole, Whitehead said.

Hutsinpiller said Ferrell "had told her to never question him," according to Whitehead's statement.

If convicted, Ferrell could face up to five years in prison.

Bill Estep: (606) 678-4655. Twitter: @billestep1.

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