Truck Driver Stranded After Escaped Murder Suspect Steals Semiby Jana Ritter - Published: 12/16/2015
When truck driver Robby Bunn arrived in Muskogee, Oklahoma on Monday evening, he had heard the news on the radio about a manhunt for an accused murder suspect that had escaped from the county jail, but didn’t think much of it. His hours were up, so he parked his truck just off Highway 69 and checked into the Fairfield hotel. “I'm only allowed to drive 11 hours a day. My time was up, so had to stay,” Bunn said. When he woke up early Tuesday morning to start his drive back to Texas and saw that his truck was missing, Bunn just assumed that it had been towed. Then he saw the shattered glass and knew something else had gone down.
January 05, 2018 - Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 02, 2018 - Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27, 2017 - Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System
The night before Bunn arrived in town, Paul Newberry and Raymond Noriega had escaped from the Muskogee County Jail. On Sunday evening at around 10:25 p.m., they busted out a window and jumped to the ground. Noriega apparently sprained or broke his ankles from the fall and was left stranded in the bed of a truck calling for help, while Newberry went on the lam. Deputies didn’t even realize the two had escaped until midnight when they heard Noriega’s yells. They took him back into custody and the hunt was on for Newberry. Newberry is accused of murdering 88-year-old rancher, Charley Kirk, during an attempted break-in and had an upcoming court date facing serious charges that include first-degree murder with deliberate intent, robbery and burglary, among others. Police had warned the public that the escapee was desperate and dangerous but after combing the area all of Monday, Newberry was still nowhere to be found.
On Tuesday morning at around 6 a.m. when Robby Bunn had realized his truck had been stolen rather than towed, he called it in to his company dispatcher. Using the semi’s GPS tracking device they were able to pinpoint its exact location to a truck stop in Jarrell, Texas. Bunn said he was surprised to learn his truck was already in Texas before him. “Called dispatcher, asked him where my truck was at and he was wondering why it was going toward Austin,” Bunn said. It wasn’t until he filed the police report that the local news about the manhunt for Newberry popped in his head and he joked about it to the officer. “I said, 'Well, I hope it wasn't y'all's escaped convict,'” recalls Bunn. He may have been joking, but it was the lead police needed.
Muskogee County Sheriff, Charles Pearson, said that once they confirmed the missing semi-truck was still at the location in Texas, he called the authorities there to make the arrest. Cherokee County Sheriff’s Investigator James Brown Brown further explained that an officer north of Austin was actually about to approach the semi when federal authorities were alerted that Newberry might be inside. The lone officer was told to hold off while the Texas U.S. marshals raced to the scene. “Marshals in Austin sent some of their task force to the semi and they were waiting on a SWAT team to show up, but before SWAT could arrive, Newberry started up the semi,” Brown said. “For safety reasons, the marshals didn’t want him to get rolling, so they went ahead and arrested him.”At that point Newberry admitted who he was and co-operated as he was taken into custody. He was held in Texas until his transfer back to Muskogee on Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, Bunn had been left stranded back in Muskogee waiting for his ride back to Texas. “I guess a stolen truck turned helpful,” he said. “But I'm ready to go home.”