Captured escaped murderer moved to maximum security facility

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ATOKA COUNTY, OK - Authorities moved an escaped murderer to maximum security prison, after they arrested him in Hugo Sunday.

Jason Bales escaped from the Mack Alford Correctional Center last Monday. Bales is serving a life sentence without parole for first degree murder.

Hugo Police received a tip Saturday night, after a thrift store worker called police claiming she saw Bales on her security video footage.

Hugo Police Chief Jon Paul Bozeman said they confirmed it was Bales.

"We started searching all the empty buildings and houses, things of that nature in town," he said. "We searched those all night long.

Bozeman said around 9 a.m. Sunday, two EMS drivers spotted Bales walking behind the library. They called in police officers.

"When they went to make contact with him, he took off running to the north, to a residential wooded area," he said.

Officers caught up with him in the woods about 150 yards away and held him at gunpoint, Bozeman said.

"Once the officers got him at gunpoint, there was no struggle that ensued. He was taken into custody without incident," he said.

Jerry Massie, Department of Corrections public information officer, said they're still investigating how he escaped.

"We wanna make sure that we actually have some of the information on how he did get out," he said. "And then if we need to, shore up that, make that where it's not a weak spot, or an issue for us in the future."

Atoka County Undersheriff Tony Taylor said they weren't notified Bales was caught until this morning.

"I actually learned it from [News 12]," he said.

Department of Corrections told him Saturday they were looking for Bales in the Atoka area, he said.

"They notified me they found some gloves, and rope, and tools, and thought he maybe he still might be in the area and might have kinda hid for a while and then come out," he said.

Authorities moved Bales to Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

He faces additional charges for escape. But regardless, authorities say he'll stay in maximum security.

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