Convicted killer captured in Athens

ATHENS, Texas (AP) - A convicted killer who escaped an East Texas sheriff's deputy just afterbeing convicted in a 2008 slaying is back in custody - just in time for the penalty phase of his trial.

A Henderson County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman confirms that 32-year-old Donnie Ray Westbrook is in custody this afternoon.

He was picked up about noon and was back in the Athens courtroom for the punishment phase of his trial.

Westbrook faces a life sentence for the fatal stabbing of Jerry Jeff Hunt, along with new escape charges.

The Athens Daily Review reported that Westbrook bolted after being convicted of murder last night. Today, the sheriff's spokeswoman says he walked into an Athens business today a few hundred feet from where he escaped and said he wanted to turn himself in.

Athens is 75 miles southeast of Dallas.

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Information assist from: KLTV-TV, http://www.kltv.com

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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