A man being held in the Sonoma North County Detention Facility made a run for it and got away. But in the end, he decided to come back and give himself up.
It began Saturday afternoon at 2:23. The deputy monitoring the the security system saw that an inmate had run through a gate while it as being closed. He sounded the alarm, and correctional deputies investigated, discovering that Jesse Eagle Wilmes, 35, was indeed missing from custody, and appeared to be the one seen running past the gate, according to a Sheriff’s press release.
The County Jail facilities were once reserved for arrested persons waiting for trial and sentencing, and for very short term incarcerations. Prisoners sentenced to longer terms would be transferred to a state prison to serve their time. However, due to the increased populations in prison, and budgets that did not allow major expansion to keep up with the demand, more and more inmates are being housed in county jail facilities. Non-violent, non-serious, and non-sexual offenders are now being kept in jails. These prisoners are usually considered lower risk as well, and don’t normally pose as great a threat of escape, and require a lower level of security that a state or federal prison will have.
Jesse Wilmes had been taken into custody on March 5, charged with felony grand theft auto, receiving stolen property, and possession of narcotics, along with probation violations. He had several previous arrests for burglary, resisting arrest, and contempt of court. Last June he was arrested twice in Sebastopol – once when caught recklessly driving a stolen vehicle, and after posting bail, he was found with two other stolen cars. At that time he also had a warrant out for a Rohnert Park theft case. For the latest charges, he was convicted of the grand theft and sentenced on March 21 to five years total, which was reduced to 20 months jail time.
So four months into that sentence, Wilmes ran away. Patrol deputies with a K9 unit searched the area, but could not locate him. They checked several more potential locations, such as past addresses, in an effort to bring him in, but still came up empty. It was not known if he had help in his escape, or had if he had done it alone.
In any case, he showed up at the door by the next day, Sunday at 4 pm, and turned himself in. He will now be coming back to court Tuesday to face the additional charge of pc-4532, escape from a correctional facility.
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