© 2021 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Courts and Crime

Convicted Murderer On The Lam For 5 Days Is In Custody

Maine Department of Corrections

A prisoner who walked away from the Mountain View Correctional Center in Charleston last Thursday has been taken into custody.  The Piscataquis County Sheriff's Office says Arnold Nash was found in the Charleston area at about 7 o'clock Tuesday morning. Maine Department of Corrections officials are releasing few details about how the convicted murderer was able to elude staff, and the Sheriff's Office isn't releasing any other details about his capture.

Nash, 65, had escaped from Maine correctional facilities twice before. And despite being convicted of murder in 1992, he was placed in minimum custody after exhibiting good behavior for 27 years.

Speaking at a news conference Monday afternoon, Corrections Commissioner Dr. Joseph Fitzpatrick said Nash, who is 65-years old, was not the kind of prisoner who seemed like he would attempt to escape again. He had a record of good behavior and did not raise red flags with staff.

“When you look at Mr. Nash, over the significant period of time, many, many years that he did with the Department of Corrections, he only had two disciplinary infractions and they were quite minor. He had showed no signs of violence, no signs of aggression,” he said.

But when Nash escaped police were calling him a “dangerous, career criminal” and asking anyone who saw him to call the Maine State Police or the Maine Department of Corrections.

During one of his previous escapes, prior to his murder conviction, Nash and another inmate led law enforcement on an extensive search that lasted more than three weeks. During that time Nash was able to obtain a gun and shoot a police dog.

Fitzpatrick said Nash had most recently been serving time in minimum security facilities with supervised work details as his release date drew closer. He’d originally been sentenced to 45 years but because of earned “good time” he was scheduled to be get out 18 years early, in Dec. 2019.

“Part of the mission of the Department of Corrections is to, to the best of our ability, mitigate the risk before we return people to the community. So, I can tell you that Mr. Nash would have been more of a risk to the community had we kept him in a secure facility up until his last day and then dropped him back in whatever community he was returning to,” Fitzpatrick said.

State and local law enforcement agencies from Maine and New Hampshire were concentrating their search in the greater Charleston area on foot and from the air.  Nash was caught in that area, but officials are releasing few details about how he was taken into custody.

Updated Sept. 18, 2018 at 7:48 a.m. ET.

Originally published Sept. 17, 2018 at 3:51 p.m.