Federal inmate pleads not guilty to escape charge

A federal inmate accused of escaping from a prison transport van, and leading authorities on a three day manhunt, has answered to an escape charge.

Derek Capozzi appeared in a Lexington federal courtroom Wednesday morning, and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

U.S. Marshals escorted Capozzi into the courthouse around 9 a.m. to begin procedures for his latest brush with the law.

He's accused of sending several law enforcement agencies on a three day manhunt earlier this month in Woodford County.

But Capozzi's attorney says there may be an explanation for what his client did.

"Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to escape," Attorney Patrick Nash said. "Whether that's the case, we'll find out, but there may be a legitimate reason someone felt the need to escape."

How Capozzi escaped is still under investigation, but that will play a role in his trial, according to his attorney.

But there was no ignoring the fact authorities aren't taking any chances. Capozzi was surrounded by at least three U.S. Marshals during today's arraignment.

Capozzi's attorney told 27 NEWSFIRST his client was taken back to the Federal Medical Center on Leestown Road in Lexington, where he's being held at this time.

Capozzi's trial on the escape charge is set for June.

He could face an additional five years in prison, on top of the previous sentence he's currently serving.

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