Convicted Rapist Who Escaped Arkansas Prison Arrested in West Virginia Alongside Wife, Mother, and Mother's Boyfriend
In a dramatic turn of events, the U.S. Marshals Service announced on Tuesday that Samuel Paul Hartman, a convicted rapist who had escaped from an Arkansas prison last year, has been apprehended in West Virginia. Accompanying him at the time of arrest were his wife, Misty Hartman, his mother, Linda Annette White, and White's boyfriend, Rodney Trent. The group was captured at a hotel in Lewisburg, West Virginia, bringing an end to their months-long run from the law.
The women, Misty Hartman and Linda White, are accused of aiding Samuel Hartman in his daring escape from the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys in August of 2022. The incident unfolded when Hartman, who was on a work detail near the detention facility, spotted a pickup truck driven by the women approaching. As he made a break for it, multiple gunshots were fired at a corrections officer by an individual inside the vehicle. Hartman managed to reach the getaway truck, which then sped off to the Mississippi River, where two jet skis awaited their escape. Witnesses reported seeing a man and two women riding the jet skis across the river into Mississippi before abandoning them.
The investigation later revealed that Hartman's mother, Linda White, had ties to West Virginia, which led authorities to focus their efforts in that area. On Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals, along with the West Virginia State Police, the Lewisburg Police Department, and the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Office, successfully apprehended the fugitive and his accomplices at the Lewisburg hotel.
When arrested, Samuel Hartman appeared to have blood on his face, as seen in the released collage of the four individuals apprehended. Joe Profiri, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Corrections, commended the dedicated work of law enforcement officers, stating that they had followed hundreds of leads over the course of the past year to bring these dangerous fugitives to justice. Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed relief and gratitude, acknowledging that with Hartman's capture, the people of Arkansas can now rest easier.
Rodney Trent, Linda White's boyfriend, has been charged with felony counts of harboring a sex offender and assisting Hartman and the two women during the escape. The specific charges against Misty Hartman and Linda White were not disclosed by the Marshals Service. However, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Corrections stated that the suspects are expected to be extradited to Arkansas promptly.
Samuel Paul Hartman, now 39 years old, was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for a rape conviction in Franklin County, Arkansas. His audacious escape and subsequent capture have captivated the nation and highlighted the tireless efforts of law enforcement in pursuit of justice.
themes: Shooting Virginia Arkansas Mississippi West Virginia