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Second of Pike County Jail escapees receives sentencing

Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

Jacob Darnell

The second of five jail escapees from the September Pike County jail break in Bowling Green was sentenced January 14.

Jacob Darnell, age 22, of Louisiana, received four years after pleading  guilty to class D felony escape or attempted escape from confinement and class D felony damage to jail/jail property. Darnell was also sentenced to a concurrent seven years for a third charge of class C felony theft/stealing.

The sentence will be consecutive with the three years Darnell received after pleading guilty to the August charges of felony possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana and felony domestic assault in the second degree, for which he was originally being held in jail.

The first of the September escapees to be sentenced, Emmanuel Chatman, age 27, of Louisiana, received seven years for the same charges as Jacob Darnell.

Chatman was previously sentenced to nine years after pleading guilty in December to felony domestic assault in the second degree, which he was arrested for in late-June. Both sentences will be consecutively served.

Awaiting trial

Jason Darnell, age 25, of Louisiana, who also faces the same three charges for the jail break, is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on March 12 after pleading not guilty on December 10. Jason Darnell was being held for possession of a controlled substance and was awaiting trial for failing to register as a sex offender, as well. He was sentenced to five years in February 2009 for sexual assault.

Joseph Verive, age 49, of Elsberry, who was previously being held on charges of felony domestic assault in the second degree, faces the additional charges of escape or attempted escape from confinement and damage to jail/jail property. Verive has a pre-trial conference scheduled for February 11 and jury trial for May 2.

The final escapee, William Wilkerson, age 40, of Florissant, will answer to the charges of class D felony escape or attempted escape from confinement, as well as class D felony damage to jail/jail property. A trial date has yet to be scheduled.

After pleading guilty to felony attempted theft of anhydrous ammonia or liquid nitrogen and intention to manufacture or distribute or posses with intent to distribute a controlled substance in late 2008, Wilkerson was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released in December 2009 on probation. Darnell then violated his probation and was placed back in custody for the remainder of his original 10 year sentence.

A sixth man, Tordale Chatman, has been charged with three counts of class D felony hindering prosecution for his reported part in driving three of the men, the Darnells and Tordale Chatman, from Bowling Green to Louisiana. Tordale Chatman has a preliminary hearing scheduled for January 23 after press time.

Breaking out

The five escapees broke out of the Pike County jail late Saturday night, September 8, after removing a tamper-resistant shower head controller, entering a slim service area, and then bolting away from a side door.

Authorities found the Darnell brothers and Emmanuel Chatman about two days later in Oklahoma.

Officials believed the three stole a 1993 Chevy Suburban from rural Louisiana. The Suburban was then found in Jefferson City, where a separate vehicle — a 2003 Chevy truck — was stolen and then found when the three were apprehended in Oklahoma. All three face charges of possession of stolen property in Oklahoma.

Verive was also arrested about two days after the jail break when the Pike County Sheriff Department picked him up near Bowling Green.

Wilkerson was arrested the following day, Tuesday, September 11, by St. Louis County officials after a short foot chase.