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Convicted rapist and fugitive John Buckley captured


LEXINGTON,KY (WKYT) - Convicted rapist and Lexington fugitive John Calvin Buckley, IV is back in custody.

Buckley was on the run for ten months. He walked away from the Fayette County Courthouse in July 2012, minutes before a jury convicted him of raping his girlfriend.

Police later found his ankle monitoring device, which officials tell us he cut off at his home.

Instead of going behind bars after the verdict, Buckley's victim is the one who had to immediately go into protective custody. Her day of vindication lasted only a few moments. Our Officer Don Evans talked to her, exclusively, in July.

"After we heard the guilty verdict, and I'm supposed to feel vindicated, that they finally put the man who raped me in prison, but they can't find him," the victim told WKYT, "it just made me feel like I was the one in prison, when I shouldn't be the one in prison, he should be."

Buckley, who was 29 at the time of his escape, served numerous tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a highly-trained Army Ranger. The decorated Army veteran was upset with his former girlfriend when they broke up, she says.

In September 2012, a judge ordered Buckley's uncle, Kelly Buckley, to forfeit a $150,000 bond. WKYT obtained a letter Kelly Buckley wrote to the Fayette County Sheriff, Kathy Witt, where he says he tried to find his nephew. In the letter, Kelly Buckley says he met with his nephew's former cell mate, John Lee Williams, and offered him $5,000 to contact his nephew through a man known as "Big Boy."

The Fayette County Sheriff's Office says Williams helped arrange Buckley's disappearance. In July, investigators found Buckley's get-away car in the Walgreens parking lot in Georgetown.

WKYT obtained that surveillance video, and you can see Williams in the Walgreens. You can see him later walking by outside, just minutes later, on a cell phone. According to an arrest warrant, Williams was on the phone with Buckley's mother, Sandra Merritt, while at Walgreens, and she told him to move the car from the lot.

Police used this information to issue an arrest warrant against Sandra Merritt. The warrant against her states she was charged with falsely reporting an incident. Police say she filed a report claiming her rental car was stolen by a stranger, but police say the car was the one Buckley used to flee.

Police tell us that three people were in the car, but they haven't released who the third person was.

Williams pleaded guilty to helping Buckley escape. He is currently serving a four year sentence.

Our sister station in Colorado Springs, Colorado confirmed for us in July that Buckley's stepmother and father are attorneys in that area. His step-mom said Buckley would be stupid to come there.

Wednesday afternoon, WKYT learned that members of the Central Kentucky Fugitive Task Force, along with U.S. Marshals in Colorado and Wyoming arrested Buckley. We are told he was caught in Laramie, Wyoming.

Investigative efforts by the Central Kentucky Fugitive Task Force and the Lexington Metro Police Department Detective Reid Bowles led to the capture of Buckley.


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