By Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A man who fled Mississippi in the middle of his trial has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Michael Leroy Knight, 54, was convicted in April of two counts of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Harrison County Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson sentenced Knight this week.

During his April trial, officers testified they executed a search warrant on a hotel room at the America’s Best Value Inn on U.S. Highway 49 in Gulfport. Inside the hotel room, officers found several pill bottles belonging to the Knight and his wife. They contained 68 units of oxycodone and 297 units of methadone. Officers also testified that more than 300 pills were missing from prescriptions, which had just been filled within the last two days.

Investigators said Knight described to them how he would travel to Alabama to get prescriptions then sell those same pills for profit.

On day two of his trial, Knight fled to Louisiana, but that didn’t stop jurors from finding him guilty. Knight was eventually captured after a car chase in Chalmette, Louisiana, and returned to Mississippi for his sentencing.

The defendant was prosecuted by the state as a habitual offender. Prosecutors said he had prior felony convictions of manslaughter in 1976 and second-degree murder in 1985.

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