TOPEKA – An inmate who escaped from the Ottawa County Jail and pleaded guilty to federal carjacking charges has been sentenced to 18 years. The sentence is to run consecutive to the inmate’s remaining term in state prison.
22-year-old Eric Jerome James pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking. James was one of four inmates who escaped from the Ottawa County Jail April 18. The Kansas Attorney General’s Office filed criminal escape charges against the other three.
In his plea, he admitted that he was still on foot shortly after fleeing the jail in Minneapolis, Kan., when he encountered a victim identified as J.H., who was leaving home for work. James overpowered J.H. by threat and force, demanding he give up control of the vehicle. The victim fled after suffering serious bodily injury to his face and James drove away alone in J.H.’s vehicle. James was arrested April 20 in Omaha, Neb. As part of the plea agreement, the state of Kansas did not charge James for the jail escape.