Escapee Keeps Court Date, Gets Life Sentence

Jeremy Morales stood twice in the Storey County Courtroom Friday, first through his Justice Court arraignment on the escape charges, then the moment he had once dreaded, a sentencing in District Court.

Everything that followed had been predetermined,

He had been charged and confessed to sexual assault on a young girl.

At age 38, he was facing a life sentence, looking at spending at least the next 25 years behind bars.

He had been just hours away from this moment when, early in the morning of October First, he escaped from the Storey County Jail, hiding in the shadows of a day room, locking a deputy in behind him and jumping over a security fence.

A massive search was launched. His tracks were found, then lost in the mountains above Gold Hill. He eluded capture until Monday when acting on a potential sighting he was found by Sheriff Gerald Antinoro.

"He was just laying there in the bushes, says Antinoro. "A look relief, I don't know, maybe because it was over for him."

Morales had spent two weeks on his own in the wilds, hungry, dehydrated, both ankles sprained, his feet wrapped in duct tape and wearing only his jail uniform.

The experience appeared to have left him drained and apparently contrite.

He had from the beginning, his attorney said, accepted full responsibility for his actions.

"You had a very inappropriate relationship with a young girl causing her great emotional damage," Judge James Todd Russell told him. "You caused her to lose her childhood.+

"I'd give anything to undo what I've done," Morales said, pauding, throwing his hands up, "but I can't."

Morales is now in state custody. He will return to this courthouse in December for a preliminary hearing on the escape charges.


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