Local News

Durham Man Escapes House Arrest

Posted January 7, 1999

— A judge set a million-dollar bond for a man accused of impersonating a state trooper to invade and rob the apartment of a Duke University student.

"He posed as a state trooper, then he broke into a house," says Durham Police investigator Tim Leathers. "He's wanted for kidnapping and wanted for stealing cars. He has a past history of stealing cars also, and he's a con artist."

Now, all authorities have to do is locate Roe Anthony Jones. A prosecutor says the 24-year-old fled Durham to escape the charges filed against him.

The case sparked a debate concerning over-crowded jails. A lack of space behind bars means more criminals, some of them with violent histories, are placed under house arrest. Despite checks and balances, some of those criminals beat the system and end up back on the streets.

There are many people in Durham who say one man beat the house arrest program like a drum. He cut off his court-ordered monitoring device, and slipped away before anyone could check on him.

Many others say this is an isolated incident, and the house arrest program is still a necessary option.

Archie Snipes is in charge of the house arrest program for Durham's Juvenile Court system. "House arrest is not for everyone," he said. "There are some people not appropriate for it, and we don't even make any attempt to put them on."

Snipes says if the right people are placed in the program, it helps ease jail overcrowding, and it helps save money.

"Roughly it costs about $210 to keep a kid locked up in juvenile detention facilities, and I would say it takes about $10 to $15 a day for house arrest," Snipes said.

Statewide, the numbers change every day. As of Friday, there were 14 adults and nine juveniles in Durham being monitored under house arrest.

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