- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - A February trial date has been set for a convicted killer who escaped from an Arkansas prison and was recaptured last month.

Timothy Buffington, 48, turned himself into authorities in September after about three months on the run, prison officials said. They said he escaped in June after stealing a shotgun from a house on Pine Bluff prison grounds where he had been performing janitorial work.

He was sentenced in 1998 to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of shooting his ex-wife in Logan County.

Buffington appeared in court Wednesday and is facing charges of kidnapping, escape, theft of property and aggravated assault, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/ZskkhM ).

A preliminary innocent plea was automatically entered on his behalf in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Buffington spoke briefly during the hearing. He told Judge Jodi Raines Dennis that he didn’t intend to hire an attorney and that he doesn’t have income or property that would pay for one. The judge ordered a public defender to represent Buffington.

The Arkansas Department of Correction said Buffington was captured after a resident in western Arkansas spotted and recognized him. Buffington went to a residence, asked to call Booneville police to turn himself in, and surrendered to an Arkansas State Police trooper in the home’s front yard, the department said.

Prison officials said that before his escape, Buffington didn’t have any disciplinary infractions.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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