Escaped prisoner picked up during traffic stop in Refugio

An escaped prisoner out of Alabama was arrested in Refugio, Texas, Monday after he was stopped for a defective headlight in the 700 block of North Victoria Highway.

REFUGIO, TEXAS (KIII NEWS) - An escaped prisoner out of Alabama was arrested in Refugio, Texas, Monday after he was stopped for a defective headlight in the 700 block of North Victoria Highway.

According to the Refugio Police Department, Sgt. Peter Silvas initiated the traffic stop just before midnight. While making contact with the female driver and male passenger, Silvas was informed by the dispatcher that the 2005 Lincoln Sedan they were driving had been reported stolen. Both 30-year-old Natasha Traffanstedt of Guntersville, Ala., and her passenger, who identified himself as Jesse Johnson, were placed under arrest for unauthorized use of a vehicle.

However, during the investigation Silvas discovered that Johnson's real name was actually Michael Parker. The 40-year-old was an escaped inmate from the Alabama Department of Corrections.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, Parker had escaped from the Decatur Work Release Center on August 6, 2017, where he was serving a 17-year sentence on a first-degree robbery conviction out of Baldwin County. Parker was believed to be traveling to Mexico prior to being stopped by the Refugio Police Department.

Traffanstedt was additionally charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution of a known felon, and Parker was additionally charged with failure to identify and fugitive intentionally giving false information. Both Traffanstedt and Parker were transported to the Refugio County Jail.

The Lincoln was impounded at the Police Department Annex and the case will be filed with the Refugio County District Attorney's Office for review and to be presented to a Refugio County Grand Jury.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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