An agreement was reached in two escape cases against Rodney Stamper in Perry Circuit Court on Thursday.
In each case Stamper was indicted on one count of second-degree escape and one count of persistent felony offender. The indictments stemmed from two different occasions in December 2006 when police said Stamper, who was an inmate at the Kentucky River Regional Jail at the time, walked out of the Hazard ARH while being treated as a patient there. Both times that Stamper left the facility he was under guard supervision.
He was tried for one of the escape charges last March, but after the jury failed to agree on a verdict, Circuit Court Judge Bill Engle declared a mistrial. Stamper could have faced a retrial on the escape charge because he was not acquitted, but that will be unlikely if Engle accepts the agreement.
In the agreement, Stamper pled guilty to an amended charge of first-degree fleeing or evading police, a class D felony, with the persistent felony offender charge in each case being dismissed. The Commonwealth recommended that Stamper be sentenced to five years in each case with the sentence being probated for two-and-a-half years. The probation would be supervised and the sentences would run consecutively. As part of the agreement the Commonwealth will not seek to revoke Stamper’s probation in two other cases prior to the agreement.
Stamper’s attorney, Jim Wren, asked the court to release his client on a surety bond pending sentencing.
“There are no other charges holding him,” Wren said. “I would also ask that the court go ahead and institute the conditions of the plea agreement and let Mr. Stamper prove he is able to abide by this for the next five years.”
Engle reduced Stamper’s bond to $7,500. Sentencing is set for February 7 at 9 a.m.