LEWISBURG W.Va. (WVDN) – According to a statement from the U.S. Marshals, Samuel Paul Hartman, 39, who escaped an Arkansas prison while on a work detail in August 2022, was arrested at the Quality Inn in Lewisburg, West Virginia. U.S. Marshals arrested Hartman in conjunction with local law enforcement. Before escaping, Hartman had been sentenced to life in prison in 2013 after being convicted of raping his 14-year-old stepdaughter.
Initial reports after Hartman’s escape indicated that two women may be traveling with him: his wife, Misty Hartman, and his mother, Linda White. Both women were arrested with Hartman, along with another individual, Rodney Trent, who is allegedly White’s boyfriend.
The statement from U.S. Marshals says that USMS investigators from the Cold and Complex Case Unit “paired up with investigators from the Eastern District of Arkansas to find the three.” At this point, information led to the discovery that White had ties to the Mountain State. Investigators then reached out to the Southern District of West Virginia.
In a statement, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Today’s announcement is the culmination of a year of outstanding, dedicated work by our heroic law enforcement officers. Now that they have brought this dangerous fugitive to justice, all Arkansans can sleep safer at night.”
Cory Harris, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Arkansas, said, “Attempts to evade justice for this dangerous criminal ended today thanks to the tireless efforts of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and our law enforcement partners.”
Michael Baylous, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of West Virginia, stated, “In my nearly 30 years of law enforcement, I cannot recall a task force that has the level of dedication to accomplishing the mission and making our communities safer than that of CUFFED (Cops United Felony Fugitive Enforcement Division Task Force).”
At the time of writing, Misty Hartman, Linda White and Rodney Trent are booked in Southern Regional Jail. It is believed Samuel and Misty Hartman, along with Linda White, will be extradited to Arkansas. Local courts set a bail amount of $30,000 for Rodney Trent.
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