1/15/2014 2:21:00 PM Carter appears in court, enters not-guilty plea
Illinois Department of Corrections officers escort Jared Carter to the Crawford County Courthouse for his arraignment Monday. Carter is accused of escape after he walked away from the Robinson Correctional Center this summer. Three officers in two vehicles brought Carter to the hearing from Pontiac Correctional Center. (Graham Milldrum photo)
Jared Carter, the inmate who walked away while cutting grass at the Robinson Correctional Facility this summer, pleaded not guilty Monday.
In a short hearing before Circuit Judge Christopher Weber, Carter waived the preliminary hearing and formal advisement of the charge against him. He was represented in court by attorney Jay Holtzhouser.
Carter is charged with a single count of escape.
Carter was transported from Pontiac Correctional Center, where he is now confined. Pontiac is one of the IDOC's five maximum-security facilities.
The trip takes about three hours and 20 minutes, one-way. Because he is charged with escape, Carter is being escorted by a Tactical Response Team, instead of the normal transport group, Illinois Department of Corrections Director of Communications Tom Shaer said.
Carter was brought to court by an IDOC van, which was escorted by a car.
Most offenders are transported by two officers, Shaer said, but Carter is classed as a different level of offender.
Carter's situation is different from most inmates who are on trial for a crime other than their conviction, Shaer said. Often, those inmates can be housed in the county jail where they are charged, which saves on transport time and costs, he added.
Carter's previous transport cost the state $1,522.98, Shaer said. Of that, $1,071.44 was for the three employees' daily salary and overtime, and the remainder was for the vehicles.
Carter was in the RCC on a 2011 Bond County conviction of residential burglary and two counts of burglary. He pleaded guilty to the three counts, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and restitution.
All three ran concurrently with each other and a Madison County residential burglary charge.
The escape charge carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison, or seven to 14 if found to be an extended-range sentence. It may also carry a fine of up to $25,000.