Roseburg inmate who escaped gets more time

EUGENE — An inmate who spent more than a month on the run after escaping from a Roseburg jail in a trash bin now will spend almost a decade in state prison.

Thomas Ivan Grimes Jr., 33, of Springfield, pleaded guilty Friday to eight charges related to an encounter he had while eluding a police a week before his capture. His 18-month sentence for those crimes will be on top of a 71/2;-year sentence he got for a Douglas County robbery, The Register-Guard reported.

Grimes' adult life has been marked by numerous run-ins with the law, including episodes in 2002 and 2009 when he tried to flee from police by jumping into rivers. On Friday, Lane County Judge Charles Carlson advised Grimes to consider going straight, noting that his career as a criminal hasn't shown much promise.

"You're not very good at this," the judge said.

Grimes escaped June 15 by hiding in a trash can that other inmates placed outside the jail. One jail employee was fired and a second quit following an investigation.

For several weeks Grimes moved between Lane and Douglas counties. Police in Springfield spotted him twice, once in June and again in July, but Grimes avoided capture both times.

During the July encounter, a Springfield police sergeant saw Grimes outside a home, working on what was later determined to be a stolen car. Grimes jumped into the car, the sergeant reached in to grab him and Grimes raced out of the driveway.

By then other officers were arriving and Grimes drove straight at one who was approaching in his patrol car. The officer fired at Grimes but missed, and Grimes crashed into the police car and sped away.

The car driven by Grimes soon crashed into a street sign, but he was able to run away.

A week later, police tracked Grimes to remote campsite east of Fall Creek Lake. Members of a Springfield SWAT team with a police dog surrounded him.

Grimes, wearing only boxer shorts, surrendered after briefly trying to run.

He was convicted Friday of resisting arrest, car theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, eluding police on foot and in a vehicle, reckless endangering and escape.

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