Deputies capture California fugitive
Houston County Courier - December 2007
By Daphne Hereford
A 49-year-old man wanted in California on assault charges was captured by Houston County Sheriff's deputies near Austonio on Monday, Dec. 10.
The search for the man, Richard Lee Matthews, began on Sunday, Dec. 9 when Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt's office received a call in reference to the suspect who was reportedly wanted on outstanding warrants for assault in Kern County Calif.
Deputies began their search for Matthews in the Austonio area near CR 3180.
Authorities said items were found that belonged to the suspect and tracking dogs were called in from the Eastham Unit in Lovelady but were unable to locate Matthews.
The following morning Sheriff Bobbitt's office received information that Matthews was back in the area.
Matthews reportedly approached the owner of the property on which he had been hiding and asked for assistance in getting out of the area. Matthews reportedly even agreed to ride in the trunk of the vehicle during his escape.
The property owner contacted the sheriff's office and a plan was devised to capture and arrest the wanted man.
Deputies set up in an area they knew the vehicle would travel and a traffic stop was initiated.
Deputies conducted a consensual search of the vehicle, which resulted in the arrest of Matthews, who was hiding in the trunk of the car.
Matthews was arrested without incident and taken to the Houston County Sheriff's office Jail without incident.
Matthews was booked in as a fugitive from justice and as of Thursday, Dec. 13 was awaiting extradition back to California.