On April 26, 2013, David Lee Kemp, 43, turned himself into the Comanche County, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office. He was actively being sought by the FBI, U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement agencies for escaping from the Comanche County Jail 14 years earlier. “He said that he was just tired basically of running and it was affecting his health,” said Sheriff Kenny Stradley.

Kemp was being held in the Comanche County Jail in 1999 for the shooting deaths of Christine Frances Kemp, his ex-wife, and Robert Wayne Miller, her new boyfriend. Kemp allegedly went to their apartment, pushed open the unlocked front door, and shot Miller four times and his ex-wife three times.

He then fled the area. Police later located a man who claimed he had sold Kemp a .45 caliber handgun. Subsequent testing of spent bullet casings confirmed that the gun was the one used in the murders. The California Highway Patrol located Kemp’s Dodge Ram pickup truck abandoned by the side of the road several days later and commenced a search. They located Kemp, who was eventually cornered in a junkyard, where he held the .45 up to his head and threatened to kill himself. Police fired rubber bullets to disable him and he was returned to the Comanche County Sheriff’s Office.

On March 11, 1999, while awaiting trial for the murders, Kemp escaped along with eight other prisoners who overpowered a jail guard using a barbecue fork. The other escapees were subsequently recaptured, but Kemp remained free for 14 years. He was allegedly spotted in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Louisiana and Canada; his case was featured on both “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries.”

Kemp is now awaiting trial on both the first-degree murder charges and an escape charge. Sheriff Stradley, who was sheriff when Kemp escaped, said having him back in custody was “a big relief.”

Sources: Associated Press, www.coldcaseok.com, Huffington Post, www.kswo.com, www.news.yahoo.com, https://unsolved.com/

(First published by Prison Legal News and used here by permission)

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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