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Arkansas escapees captured in New York state

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. | A pair of convicted murderers who escaped from an Arkansas prison wearing guard uniforms made at the facility were captured in New York state Tuesday afternoon after a 20-mile chase that began when a trooper tried to stop their car for failing to signal a lane change.

A prisons spokeswoman said the two were in the same car that had been left for them at the Cummins Unit prison in Arkansas last Friday night. Spokeswoman Dina Tyler said New York police captured Calvin Adams, 39, and Jeffrey Grinder, 32, after their car crashed in Hornell, N.Y.

No one was hurt.

Hornell police Chief Ted Murray said the chase started near Angelica near the Pennsylvania line. In Hornell, the car, bearing Missouri tags and with the key still in the ignition, slowed and the men jumped out. The vehicle coasted a short distance and hit a street sign, the newspaper said.

Neither of the men were armed, Tyler said. The state planned to begin extradition proceedings and said the pair could be back in Arkansas soon if they don’t challenge their transfer in court.

Earlier Tuesday, Arkansas State Police said they arrested three people during the weekend and accused them of leaving a car for Adams and Grinder outside the prison.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Tuesday that police arrested Deana Davison and Ryan McKinney, both of Little Rock, and Michael Stephenson of Jacksonville. The three were arrested and charged Saturday with furnishing an implement for escape, a felony, Sadler said.

Sadler would not say if police believe others may have helped the killers escape the unit.

“I can tell you that there is a continuing investigation that is including interviews with other individuals,” Sadler said.

McKinney and Stephenson were both being held at the Lincoln County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. Bond was set at $25,000 for Davison, who was taken to the Jefferson County Jail. It could not be determined Tuesday if the three had lawyers.

Also, five Correction Department officers were put on unpaid leave while the department investigates the escape. The five officers have not been identified, but Tyler said the five had been guarding the entry and exit points of the prison.

Among jobs for inmates at the Cummins Unit 90 miles southeast of Little Rock is making uniforms for jail guards and law officers. Video shows the men put on the uniforms in the prison library after Friday’s 6 p.m. headcount and walked out of the prison unchallenged during a shift change, Tyler said.

Grinder and Adams, each serving a life sentence without a chance for parole, drove away in a car that was left for them.

The two were seen during the weekend in Missouri and Monday in Michigan, where Adams’ mother lives, though Tyler said Adams’ mother was not who reported seeing the pair in Michigan. It wasn’t immediately known why the men were in New York — more than 1,300 miles away.

“I’m not sure they had a final destination,” Tyler said.

Adams is from Leachville and was convicted of capital murder in 1995 in the 1994 kidnapping and shooting death of banker Richard Austin, 25. Austin’s wife was wounded and was able to walk more than a mile for help. Grinder is from Yellville and was convicted of capital murder, aggravated robbery and burglary in the 2003 beating death of Pat Gardner, 77, who lived near Springdale.

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