North, who also is charged with escape, walked away from a work release job in Shippensburg, Pa., on Aug. 2, 2006. He was apprehended by Pennsylvania State Police eight days later following a high speed chase that started in Huntingdon County and ended in Mifflin County.
On Aug. 16, the body of Carl Ryder, 43, of Amberson, Pa., was found along a rural roadside in Huntingdon County, police said. Ryder was a fencing contractor for whom North once worked and had been missing for several days before North's capture.
Ryder died of blunt force trauma, according to autopsy results. Police found Ryder's blood outside his home, in the truck of his car and on an address book belonging to North.
North was driving Ryder's Ford Crown Victoria when a state trooper stopped him on the night of Aug. 10, police said. North gave the trooper Ryder's driver's license and when the trooper remarked that he did not look like Ryder's photo, North claimed he had undergone plastic surgery, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
The trooper did not buy that explanation and the pursuit began when North sped off, police said.
Other charges against North include two counts each of burglary, criminal trespass, forgery and access device fraud, four counts of theft, and one count each of false identification to law enforcement, fleeing or eluding police and abuse of a corpse.
Beside the criminal homicide charge, eight of the charges against North are felonies. One of the aggravating circumstances for seeking the death penalty in Pennsylvania is commission of a felony during the course of a murder.
North had been serving a sentence for burglary at the time he failed to report back to the jail from his job, according to court records.