Every year, about 1,800 convicted criminals finishing their prison sentences on supervised release in Minnesota violate those terms and become fugitives, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Some disappear for months or more, eluding state and local agencies with few resources devoted to finding them. Some commit serious crimes.
Over the past decade, fugitives from supervised release in Minnesota have committed more than 1,400 major crimes. About 180 of those have been violent, including 61 felony assaults and seven murders — most notably the ambush killing in May of Maplewood police Sgt. Joe Bergeron. His assailant, Jason Jones, had been a supervised-release fugitive for nine days. Records also show that the state’s supervised-release program can be a revolving door: Nearly 60 percent of offenders who have committed crimes while eluding authorities as a fugitive had absconded from supervised release at least once before. Fugitives who committed crimes had eluded authorities for an average of 28 days. “You know how much a person can do in 28 days before getting caught?” said Latasha McCorkle, the daughter of a woman who was doused by her fugitive boyfriend with rubbing alcohol and lighting her on fire, leaving her severely burned. “That’s not acceptable. I don’t think that’s acceptable at all.”