Kansas escapee, dog trainer captured in Tennessee
By MARGARET STAFFORD
Associated Press Writer
LANSING, Kan.- It was only about two weeks of freedom, but murderer John Manard and the dog trainer accused of helping him escape from prison appeared to have enjoyed themselves while they were on the run.
Manard and Toby Young were walking out of a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Tennessee when officers spotted them. The remote cabin where the pair apparently had holed up was "loaded with goodies," including two guitars, an amplifier and a laptop computer, as well as receipts showing they had caught a movie and shopped at Wal-Mart and several other stores, Deputy U.S. Marshal Ray Stewart said.
"It looked like they had been on a shopping spree," he said.
Manard and Young were captured after a car chase Friday night. On Feb. 12, Kansas prison officials have said, Young drove a van out of Lansing Correctional Facility with two guns, more than $10,000 in cash and Manard, who was stuffed in a dog crate in the back. Young ran a dog rehabilitation program at the prison.
The biggest break in the case came Friday, when investigators got a tip that Young _ using a false name _ had purchased a 1997 white Chevy pickup truck at an Independence, Mo., car lot before the escape, Kansas Corrections Department spokesman Bill Miskell said.
The receipt included the address of the Alpine, Tenn., cabin where authorities say Manard, 27, and Young, 48, had been staying. Some officers staked out the cabin, but others gathered at a mall parking lot in Chattanooga, about 100 miles to the south, after the truck was spotted in the area Friday.
Manard and Young walked out of a Barnes & Noble at the mall and past the undercover officers, who were driving unmarked cars, Stewart said.
The officers followed the pair almost 60 miles toward Knoxville, and Manard tried to run officers off the road, Tennessee officials said. Just southeast of Knoxville, Manard turned around and eventually crashed the vehicle while trying to cross a median in north McMinn County. He offered some resistance but was captured easily, Stewart said.
Manard and Young had altered their appearance and "looked significantly different" when arrested, Stewart said. About $25,000 was found in a lockbox at the cabin.
When Manard was arrested, he told authorities that Young was being held hostage, but the receipts indicate otherwise, Stewart said.
"It's obvious to me and others in this investigation that she was an active participant," he said.
Investigators weren't sure how long the two had been at the cabin, said Stewart, who added that it was so remote that "if you don't know where it is, you'd probably never find it."
Prison officials have declined to say where Young got the money. They also have declined to characterize the relationship between Manard and Young, a married mother of two adult sons.
Young's husband, Pat Young, said in a faxed release Saturday that he did not want to comment. "I want to assure you that no matter what may come of this, it will remain a private and personal matter," he said.
Toby Young was taken to a hospital after complaining of minor back pain but was being held Saturday in the McMinn County jail, while Manard was held in the Hamilton County jail in Chattanooga. When the two will be returned to Kansas depends on what charges federal and state authorities in Tennessee and Kansas decide to press against them, Stewart said.
Manard was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and possession of firearms in the 1996 killing of a man during a carjacking. He now will face additional charges of aggravated escape from custody.
Prison officials have said guards' familiarity with Young helped her pull off the escape. One corrections officer who should have searched Young's van apparently did not do so because he trusted her, prison officials said. The guard was fired Friday but prison officials said he did not knowingly aid in the escape.
Seven inmates who may have been involved in moving the crate were still on administrative segregation as of Saturday, said Miskell, the corrections department spokesman.
Miskell said all procedures involving volunteer programs at the prison are being reviewed, but officials hope to continue the Safe Harbor Prison Dog Program, in which dogs from animal shelters were trained by inmates so they could be adopted. Some dogs were still at the prison, and a dog adoption was held Saturday in Shawnee, Kan.