An inmate from the Charleston Correctional Facility who ran away from a roadside work detail Tuesday morning in Kingsbury Plantation was arrested by Maine State Police using a tracking dog nearly four hours later and 7 miles away, authorities said.

The inmate, Jonathan Edman, 20, formerly of Waterville, was apprehended about 2:50 p.m. in nearby Brighton Plantation village. He was taken into custody without incident and sent back to the Charleston prison.

Authorities said Edman probably will face an additional class C felony charge of escape, which carries a possible penalty of up to five years in prison.

Law enforcement around noon Tuesday set up a command post at the Kingsbury Pond rest area in the shadow of new wind turbines being erected along ridges off Route 16, where Edman reportedly ran away. Kingsbury Plantation is in Piscataquis County, west of Abbot and Parkman and north of Athens and Skowhegan.

Edman was among a group of inmates in a work crew weed-whacking and mowing along the road. He bolted from the work and into the woods shortly after 11 a.m., police said.

The escape sparked a manhunt by state police troopers and the Incident Management Assistance Team, Somerset and Piscataquis county sheriff’s departments, the Maine Warden Service, Maine Department of Corrections and staff from the Charleston prison.

Edman, who authorities considered dangerous, has a criminal record that includes convictions for assault, tampering with a witness and domestic violence assault, all in Somerset County court. He was sentenced March 23 to five years in prison, with all but 24 months suspended, and two years of probation.

On Tuesday, Edman allegedly eluded a massive ground and air search for several hours through rough woods and bogs. Police used two aircraft and three tracking dogs during the search, while also stopping the occasional vehicle on Route 16 in Kingsbury Plantation to ask if anyone had seen the inmate, who was wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and work boots.

Lt. Mark Brooks, commander of Maine State Police Troop C barracks in Skowhegan said he thought Edman stuck to the woods near the edge of Route 151, sneaking in and out as police vehicles approached. He said police relied on two “good citizens” reports, which “tightened that area we were looking” and notified police that Edman was seen near Brighton Village and near the Smith Pond camp site north of the village.

Edman was captured near the intersection of routes 151 and 154, about seven miles from where he ran away from the work detail, police said.

Police concluded the search with a debriefing in the dusty parking lot of Farrin Bros. and Smith, a highway construction company in Brighton village near the spot where Edman was apprehended.

“It was a good team effort; we’re happy with that coordinated effort,” Brooks said at the scene. “I think the air wing helped remind him that people were in the area. He heard the dogs, heard the sirens. He’s agile. He’s a 20-year-old guy.”

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster, who was also on scene, said the search was a well-coordinated effort.

“I’m extremely happy that we were able to re-apprehend him in this short amount of time,” Lancaster said. “Unfortunately, it’s going to cost him.”

 

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow


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