A chopper buzzing overhead, a neighborhood surrounded by police and tracking dogs looking for 22-year-old Weston Slade who was captured after a two-hour manhunt.
“The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency had their helicopter up and were able to see him once he broke from cover,” says Major Anthony Lowery with the sheriff’s office. “Officers were then able to close in on him.”
It may have ended in a Daphne neighborhood but it started 45 minutes away in Bay Minette.
“You see a lot of crazy cases and a lot of interesting things at the courthouse but never anything like this.” Judge Jody Bishop had just revoked Slade’s probation and sentenced him to three years in prison on a theft conviction, “and right after that he just took off out of the courtroom at a speed I’ve never seen before in my life.”
Slade ran down a flight of stairs and out of the courthouse. He was later spotted getting into the trunk of a car driven by his sister Jamison, his mother Susan also in the car. They ended up at their house on Parliament Circle in Daphne.
Authorities say Slade was in the home for a while before running through backyards and eventually into a stand of trees near the neighborhood. “I don’t think this was premeditated or calculated or he just wouldn’t have shown up this morning,” says Lowery. “Obviously something kicked in with him and he decided he was not going to go to jail.”
Slade’s long history of run-ins with the law is over, at least for now. “He made another poor decision in the courtroom today that is going to affect him for years to come,” says Bishop.
Slade and his mother and sister will not only be facing jail time but could have to pay for that two-hour manhunt that is estimated to cost more than 10 thousand dollars.