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MAHONING COUNTY Escapee pleads guilty to charges



Published: Fri, April 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The woman escaped by slipping out of handcuffs and a police car.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Michelle Longmire said her need for drugs is why she broke into a house just down the street from her own in February.

"I wanted to get high again," the 31-year-old Truesdale Avenue woman said.

Longmire pleaded guilty Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to burglary and escape. Judge R. Scott Krichbaum will sentence her in June.

Her attorney, Mark Lavelle, said Longmire has a 14-year history of drug and alcohol dependency.

Police caught Longmire coming out of a house two blocks down the street, carrying a Sony PlayStation under her coat. She told police she planned to sell it for money to buy drugs.

Police handcuffed Longmire and put her in the back seat of a cruiser, leaving her there while they went back to finish checking the house that had been robbed.

How she got out

While she was unattended, Longmire slipped her hands out of the cuffs, then pushed open a sliding window that separates the cruiser's front and back seats. She crawled through the opening into the front seat and got out a front door, which is why the escape charge was filed.

"It was quite remarkable and it was quite foolish" of her to do that, Lavelle said.

Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Pochiro said Longmire was on the lam five or six days before police caught up with her.

He said Longmire struggled with police during her arrest, which is why the handcuffs probably were not fastened as tightly as they should have been.

At Lavelle's request, Judge Krichbaum released Longmire from jail pending her sentencing. He ordered her to check into a residential treatment program at Community Corrections Association on Market Street. She cannot leave until her sentencing date.

Pochiro said he's concerned that Longmire will walk away from CCA, since she's already proved to be a flight risk.

Nicholas Palazzo, CCA intake director, said the agency is willing to accept and treat Longmire until her sentencing date. Palazzo said he warned Longmire that if she leaves CCA she could face another escape charge.

bjackson@vindy.com




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