Escaped inmate caught in Fern Creek - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Escaped inmate caught in Fern Creek after stealing a car in Bardstown

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Ronny Ray Stutes (Source: KY Department of Corrections) Ronny Ray Stutes (Source: KY Department of Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A man wanted for escape after walking away from a minimum security prison has been caught in Louisville Metro after police say he committed new crimes.

Ronny Ray Stutes, 49, walked away from the Marion County Adjustment Center on November 2.

In addition to serving time for a previous escape, Stutes serving sentences for being a persistent felony offender, wanton endangerment, perjury, bail jumping and theft by unlawful taking.

Stutes had stolen a Ford Escape from a Bardstown, KY car dealership Monday morning after taking it on a test drive. According to Bardstown Police, Stutes told the salesman the SUV was a gift for his daughter who worked at Bardstown WalMart.

"He said his daughter's birthday was today," said Perry Luttrell, 44 Auto Mart General Manager. "He had been out of her life for over a year and said that he would like to make a purchase, a cash purchase of approximately $8000 or less."

Luttrell says the sales associate helping Stutes has only been on the job for two weeks, but little did any of the employees know, Stutes was a wanted man.

"Every question that was asked he had an answer for," said Luttrell.

They asked him for his ID. "He let us know that he had recently got a DUI and that he didn't have a driver's license and he would need the sales associate to drive him to Walmart, up the road, which is where his daughter supposedly worked," said Luttrell.

Stutes had the salesman go inside the store to surprise his daughter with her gift. When the salesman came out, Stutes and the vehicle were gone.

LMPD found Stutes after officers responded to a bank robbery at First Capital Bank at 6514 Bardstown Road. The description of the suspect and his vehicle matched Stutes. A short time later, Metro officers found the stolen Escape parked outside the WalMart in Fern Creek. Stutes was also found outside the store and taken to custody.

Stutes is being questioned by LMPD detectives before being booked into Louisville Metro Corrections. He is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday morning.

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