WKYT - Lexington - Headlines

Victim 'jumped for joy' after John Buckley arrest

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) For ten months, his face has become a familiar sight, yet no one has seen John Buckley, IV, until Wednesday when police caught him on the side of Interstate-80 in Laramie, Wyoming. The Laramie Boomerang caught the scene in a snapshot, and reports that Buckley was caught trying to run away once again.

"The Marshals don't give up," WKYT's Officer Don Evans, a retired Lexington Police Detective, said, "It's great that the investigators caught this very dangerous fugitive."

The search for Buckley began at the Fayette County Courthouse, in July of 2012, when he made his getaway by simply walking out of the courthouse doors and cut off his ankle monitor before disappearing and sparking a nationwide manhunt.

"There have been reports that this guy has been all over the place. Just a couple weeks ago, there was information that he was in public, in a movie theatre, in Colorado. So if he's living that kind of life, eventually it's going to catch up with him," said Evans.

While investigators are glad he's off the street, there's one woman that took even greater joy: Jessica Merritt, Buckley's ex-girlfriend and victim.

"The detective that called me asked me if I was sitting down. I said, 'No, but I can.' Then he told me and I was like, 'There's not very many things that can make a woman who is 30-weeks pregnant with twins jump up and down, but you just made that happen.'"

For nearly a year, Merritt has been waiting for this news, and said for a while she wondered just how long she'd have to wait.

"You're so sure in the first few weeks that someone is going to catch him, and he can't run away and hide forever, and as the time goes by you lose that. You're not as sure anymore."

Now that's behind her, "I'm just so thankful."

"Jessica can now breathe a big sigh of relief knowing that the person who did this to her is back behind bars," added Evans.

Details to the case are still unfolding. On Thursday, investigators with the Central Kentucky Fugitive Task Force will release more about Buckley's arrest.


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