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Escaped Inmate is Captured in Orderville

Escaped Inmate is Captured in Orderville

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ORDERVILLE, Utah (AP) -- A state inmate who escaped from the Garfield County jail by hiding in a bus luggage compartment was arrested early Saturday, the sheriff's office said.

Tam Nguyen, 30, who was convicted of manslaughter in 1995, was captured without incident in Orderville, a small town east of Zion National Park, the sheriff's office said. Although a state prisoner, Nguyen was being housed at the Garfield County jail.

The county jail in Panguitch offers a car washing and detailing service, staffed by inmates. A crew was cleaning a school bus Friday afternoon. Nguyen hid in the bus' luggage compartment, the sheriff's office said.

A bus driver discovered him after returning to the school bus parking lot. The driver called deputies.

Nguyen ran about a block, found a car with keys in the ignition, got in and drove off, the sheriff's office said.

The car was found abandoned outside Glendale, which is on U.S. 89. Nguyen was caught just before 1 a.m. about 3 miles away after a search by multiple law enforcement and government agencies, the sheriff's office said.

In 1995, Nguyen was sentenced to two consecutive one-to-15-year prison terms for his part in a robbery-killing.

In August 1993, Nguyen had a .22-caliber handgun while walking downtown with a friend.

Nguyen, then 16, admittedly fired a nonfatal shot into throat of Chet O. Harris, 30, in a Salt Lake City alley. He claimed the man was molesting him. He said an 18-year-old friend returned and put the fatal bullet through Harris' forehead.

The two then stole the victim's car. Their plan was to drive to Seattle, but they crashed the car in La Grande, Ore. Police seized Nguyen's handgun and put the two on a bus for Salt Lake City, where waiting detectives arrested them in the bus station.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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