Escapees Caught

A man awaiting sentencing in a fatal stabbing has been charged along with two other men with escaping a holding facility.

Twenty-nine-year-old John Belcher, 55-year-old Joe Blankenship and 26-year-old Gregory Ellis were arrested by Wood County sheriff's deputies Thursday.

Belcher was found guilty September Fifth of voluntary manslaughter in Wyoming County in the death of 19-year-old Nicholas Huff. Huff was stabbed with a barbeque fork during a fight.

Belcher was free on bond pending his Oct. 9 sentencing.

According to Sgt. Shawn Graham of the Wood County Sheriff's Department, the three Gilbert men escaped from an Inebriated Recovery Program shelter in South Parkersburg.

They had been taken to the shelter after police pulled over a car they were passengers in and charged the driver with driving under the influence.

The three were located early Thursday at The Finish Line, a convenience store on state Route 14 and Interstate 77.

The Associated Press also contributed information to this report


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