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Escapees caught

August 17, 2000

Escapees caught



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two men who escaped from work release jobs in Pennsylvania Friday were arrested in Martinsburg early Wednesday by West Virginia and Pennsylvania state police.

Eric James Smith, 21, of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., was arrested without incident while talking on a pay phone on Eagle School Road across from the Peekaboo Lounge. Smith was serving time for a parole violation after having been convicted of simple assault in August 1999.

Michael Justin Clink, 29, of Westminster, Md., was picked up without incident immediately afterward at a Martinsburg home. Police did not have the name of the person who owned that house.

Clink was serving time for robbery and was considered the more dangerous of the two, according to Pennsylvania police.

The two were returning from their jobs to prison early Friday morning and being followed by a Franklin County probation officer when they fled. He gave chase briefly before losing the two at Exit 8 of Interstate 81.

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Smith and Clink brought to four the number of work release inmates to flee work release jobs this year.

Both men were arraigned in Magistrate Court and held on $100,000 bond. They are awaiting extradition, which will be handled through Berkeley County Circuit Court.

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