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Fayette man escapes police custody, apprehended

By Staff reports

OAK HILL, W.Va. -- Police said a Fayette County man arrested for receiving and transferring stolen property briefly escaped from custody Wednesday after being taken to the hospital.

On Tuesday, police arrested Michael Nelson Morris, 21, of Oak Hill, for possessing stolen property. He was arraigned in Fayette County Magistrate Court and ordered held in Southern Regional Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bail.

While being taken to jail, Morris told officers he had ingested a large amount of cocaine and several prescription oxycodone pills to destroy evidence, according to a statement issued by the Fayette County Sheriff's Department.

Police immediately took Morris to Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill, where doctors held him overnight for treatment.

At about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Morris broke free from custody and fled from the hospital on foot, according to the release. Several sheriff's deputies, State Police troopers and Oak Hill Police Department officer began searching for him.

Fayette Sheriff Deputy S.K. Neal started tracking Morris' scent with a police dog from the spot where Morris disposed of his hospital gown, the news release said. They found Morris more than an hour later in a storage building on Lundale Farm in Oak Hill. He was re-arrested without incident.

Morris has now been charged with escape from custody in addition to his previous charges. He is being held in Southern Regional Jail in lieu of a $150,000 cash-only bail.

Morris had been free on bond from an August arrest in connection to seven home burglaries in the Oak Hill area. That case is awaiting a hearing by a Fayette County grand jury, the news release said.


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