A manhunt was underway for a Maryland inmate serving 106 years after being accused of shooting at law enforcement officers’ homes, but the inmate was captured on May 3.
David Watson managed to stage an escape from a van taking him to a hospital in Wicomico County on April 28. After five days on the run, he was caught, although details of the capture were still unfolding.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Watson Was Accused of Shooting Into Multiple Law Enforcement Officers’ Homes
Watson’s criminal history focused on targeting law enforcement officers – in the sanctity of their own homes. Overall, reports Blue Lives Matter, Watson “attempted to murder four different law enforcement officers in their homes, and should not be underestimated.”
In November 2013, “Watson was sentenced to 106 years in prison for shooting into a Delaware law enforcement officer’s home,” reports Blue Lives Matter.
“He had also been charged with shooting into the homes of three different law enforcement officers in Wicomico County, but he had been deemed incompetent to stand trial by Maryland courts,” the site reports.
2. Watson Escaped Into the Woods While Being Transported for Medical Evaluation
Watson was able to stage his escape during a medical transport.
According to The Capital Gazette, he escaped custody in Jessup, Maryland on April 28 “while awaiting psychiatric evaluation in connection with shooting into law enforcement officers’ homes.”
The 28-year-old prisoner ran into the woods and hasn’t been seen since. He’s accused of getting out of handcuffs and a waist chain and discarding his clothes before escaping.
Authorities have not yet released other details of the escape.
3. Watson Was Serving a 106-Year Sentence & There Is a Reward for His Capture
Watson’s dangerous nature is captured by the length of the sentence he was serving: More than 100 years.
During his sentencing, the judge told Watson: “I’m giving you a sentence so that you pass away in prison.”
Authorities released photos of Watson’s tattoos and announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
Watson was convicted largely on the testimony of a co-defendant, Orrin Joudrey, “who admitted involvement in the crimes,” reports The Daily News.
4. Police Are Using Helicopters & Public Outreach to Find Watson
Police are scouring the Maryland area where Watson escaped with helicopters, according to The New York Daily News.
Law enforcement authorities are also soliciting the public’s help, urging people to call 911 if they spot Watson, who is considered very dangerous.
The Daily News said police described Watson as him as “a white, 5-foot-8 male weighing 140 pounds.”
5. Watson Shot Rounds From a Russian-Made Rifle at the Home of a Dewey Beach Police Officer
Delaware Online reports that Watson was convicted in a drive-by shooting in which he unloaded a Russian-made rifle in the direction of a Dewey Beach police officer’s home.
Around the same time, other officers’ homes were shot up. The homes were in both Delaware and Maryland, according to WBOC.
Watson’s father told the news site his son had “mental problems” and didn’t always realize what was going on.
Chief Justice Leo Strine said of Watson, “He’s got a thing for cops, but he’s not trying to murder them; he’s trying to scare the crap out of them.”