CONVICTED MURDERER: Escapee Didn’t Escape

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

It turns out a convicted killer who escaped from a Des Moines work release program Tuesday night didn’t escape at all.

Forty three-year old Arlis Wilson was reported missing after he failed to return to a work release facility Tuesday afternoon at 4:00.

It turns out, he was given an extension until 8:00 p.m., but someone forgot to log the change.

Wilson shot and killed 17-year old Laron Jones at a 7-11 convenience store back in 1990 while Jones was pumping gas.

Wilson is serving a 50-year sentence for second degree murder.

But we wanted to know why a convicted killer–who still has 28-years left on his sentence–is allowed to run errands and see family members on his own without supervision.

Fred Scaletta, with the Iowa Department of Corrections says, “That is our whole purpose of work release is to take people who have had longer sentences and transition them back into the community where they actually live in a facility where there is a controlled environment and we assist them and help them number one find a job and continue to work on employment and financial matters and create some stability so eventually they can go out on parole and then into the community.”

Officials say the program helps inmates ease into the transition to freedom.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.