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Inmate escapee caught; says it was supposed to be a joke

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

He says it all started as a joke, but ended with him on the run. Sammy Chilton could have been up for parole in February, but now he faces more time behind bars.

Sammy Chilton is one of two inmates who escaped from the Bell County Forestry Camp last week.

Chilton was caught on Saturday in the Wallins Creek area of Harlan County after escaping with Timothy Bowling from the Bell Bounty Forestry Camp.

Monday he talked to WYMT's Angela Sparkman from jail.

Sammy Chilton is back behind bars in the Bell County Detention Center after several days on the run. The Marshall County native admits he did not like the Bell County Forestry Camp.

"No, I hated that place," Chilton said.

However, he says he never intended on leaving.

"I don't even know, it happened so fast. It started out as a joke, all it was, and before long, wasn't a joke no more," he said. "We gotta a wild hair up us and decided we was going out the gate. It happened so quick. When we crossed the line, it was too late. We was getting an escape charge either way, so we made a run for it," Chilton explained.

They kept running for days through the woods.

"All the way to Williamsburg, then from Williamsburg back to Pineville," Chilton said. Sparkman asks, "On foot the whole time?" He answered, "Yes, evening and all night run. We moved day and night."

Chilton's freedom ended after he says Bowling left him. That's where State police say they found Chilton. He was arrested at a home in the Wallins Creek area of Harlan County.

"I saw them coming and I just sat there. I was ready to go back," Chilton said.

The other inmate, Timothy Bowling, is still missing and Chilton says he does not know where he is.

"No, literally, he disappeared on me. I have no idea," he said.

"We have troopers looking in the area of Wallins Creek. We're focusing on the Wallins Creek are due to the fact that is where the individual is from; however, he could be anywhere in the Harlan, Bell, Whitley County area," said Trooper Shane Jacobs.

Meanwhile Chilton who was up for parole in February regrets leaving the Forestry Camp.

"Just got me some years added to my time for no reason. Supposedly, I thought I had everything worked out. It happened so fast. I didn't have time to think of it. It was a bad idea," Chilton said.

Right now he is being held without bond.

Chilton was serving a five year sentence for drug trafficking in Marshall County.

Timothy D. Bowling was serving a seven year sentence for Trafficking, Theft and Receiving Stolen Property in Harlan County. He would have been eligible for parole in January 2013. Timothy D. Bowling is a 37 year old white man, 6'0", 160 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Anyone who sees him should call Kentucky State Police Harlan Post at 606-573-3131.

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