Escapee caught by deputy, chief

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

A man who escaped a state prison in Greensboro was captured Tuesday morning by the Marengo County Sheriff’s Department and the police chief of a Wilcox County town.

David Curtis Wood, 46, who escaped from the Farquhar Cattle Ranch minimum security prison in Greensboro on Saturday, Jan. 3, was finally nabbed Tuesday when Marengo County Deputy Phillip Meyers and Pine Hill Police Chief John Brown cornered Wood.

“Somebody had called Deputy Meyers and told him they saw somebody walking down there,” said Sheriff Jesse Langley of the arrest in Vineland in the southeast corner of the county. “We [also] had a report of somebody being seen Sunday on Highway 25.”

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Brian Corbett, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Corrections, said Marengo County law enforcement officials got a tip about Wood walking near the Magnolia area.

“We sent a K-9 unit from Bibb County to search for him on Monday around 4:10 p.m.,” Corbett said. “That unit began a search around 5 p.m., but the search was unsuccessful.”

Then, on Tuesday morning, Marengo County deputies apparently got another tip that eventually led to the arrest of Wood.

According to Langley, Wood did not put up a fight upon arrest.

Corbett said he wasn’t sure about all the charges Wood would face upon incarceration.

“Some of that will be left up to the arresting officers,” he said.

However, Corbett was sure that Wood would face a charge of escape, which is a felony.

Kevin McKinney, administrator of the Marengo County Jail, said the captured escapee would be handed over to DOC today.

Wood was serving a life sentence for shooting his now ex-wife, who lives in Mobile. According to Corbett, Wood had just six months left on his sentence before he would have been eligible for parole. Now, those chances have all but diminished.

“He’ll face a whole new round of charges, which are felonies,” Corbett said last week. “After he serves time for those new charges, he would probably continue serving the remainder of his original sentence.”

The original sentence was life in prison.

Farquhar Cattle Ranch, located off County Road 73 in Greensboro, spans 4,610 acres and is used by the state to raise cattle and catfish.

“The ranch maintains minimum and trusty custody inmates, which when not working on the ranch, provide free labor to community work projects for local county, city, and other government agencies,” says the DOC’s Web site.

According to Corbett, the state currently has around 420 head of cattle at the ranch, and that herd is culled annually of nonproductive cows, which are sold at competitive bid at a stockyard.

The catfish production is a commercial operation with 35 ponds on 400 acres. Of the ponds, 15 are production ponds, 4 are used primarily for brood ponds, and 16 ponds for fingerlings. A hatchery produces the fingerlings, which are used for restocking the production ponds after the fish are sold. Any surplus fingerlings are sold through open bid to local catfish farmers.

In addition to the revenues generated from the cattle and catfish operations, further revenues are generated from the sale of quail, pecans, horses, and goats, according to the DOC.