CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The man who escaped the South Central Regional Jail in October is going to prison for at least a few years.

Todd Boyes, 43, of Caldwell, Ohio was sentenced Tuesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court to a total of 5-20 years in prison in connection with a February pursuit and encounter with Charleston police.

Judge Todd Kaufman handed down the maximum sentence of 1-5 years and a $200,000 fine for fleeing from police, 1-5 years and a $5,000 fine for possessing a stolen vehicle and 3-10 years for causing bodily injury. All sentences will run consecutively.

Police said Boyes rammed a stolen vehicle into a cruiser and sent an officer to the hospital. Cpl. Renee Smith sustained non-life threatening injuries. The pursuit lasted about 45 minutes and involved dozens of officers.

“I’m pleased that non of our police officers were permanently disabled or killed in this situation and I’m pleased that we won’t be seeing Mr. Boyes anymore,” said Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper.

Boyes was seen wearing a red jumpsuit Tuesday instead of an orange jumpsuit. Kanawha County Prosecutor Chuck Miller said the red means Boyes is considered “an escape risk.”

Prosecutors described Boyes as a “career criminal” or someone who has a lengthy history of showing disregard to the community.


This surveillance photo from the South Central Regional Jail shows Todd Boyes minutes before he walked out of the jail.

Authorities said Boyes escaped the Charleston jail on Oct. 25. He obtained a pair of khaki pants, a dark-colored pullover and white shoes and changed in his cell before walking out of the front door. Boyes wasn’t reported missing until more than 40 hours later.

Boyes’ mother, Robin Helton, was charged with helping her son escape. Helton told authorities she drove Boyes from Charleston to Beaumont, Texas, and gave him $2,000.

Boyes was captured a few days later in Lerado, Texas trying to swim the Rio Grande into Mexico.

While in Texas, Boyes fought extradition back to West Virginia, denying his identity.

Miller said it was an expensive and lengthy process to get Boyes back in Charleston — costing the state around $6,000. Governor Jim Justice had to issue a warrant of extradition and a Texas judge had to confirm Boyes’ identity.

Because Boyes fought extradition, he was not given time served in Texas.

Miller said a number of factors contributed to Boyes’ sentence, not just the escape.

“He had a fairly extensive criminal history. The crimes he committed were serious. The escape didn’t help any, but I wouldn’t say that it’s the sole factor that determined the consecutive nature of his sentence,” he said.

Prosecutors hope Boyes’ sentence sends a message to out-of-state criminals.

“We hope that it has a deterrent effect on other people who would engage in similar conduct,” Miller said.

Boyes is also wanted for several carjackings in Ohio.

His attorney, Ed Rebrook, told the judge Tuesday Boyes committed these crimes because he has a drug problem and needs help.

“He’s a drug addict. He was in such a state of intoxication where he hurt Cpl. Smith and was running from the police that he wasn’t in his right mind,” Rebrook said.

But Chief Cooper told reporters Boyes is no ordinary drug addict.

“I’ve dealt with hundreds of drug addicts this year. Mr. Boyes is the only alleged drug addict to have attempted to harm or kill police officers,” he said.

Jatara McGee/WSAZ-TV

Jordan Toler, Allison Bryant and Pamela McNeely L-R)

Boyes is entitled to have his case presented to a grand jury. If the jury indicts him, he will be brought back to face the escape charges.

Three correctional officers are also facing charges in connection with Boyes’ escape. Allison Bryant, 22, of Walkersville, Pamela McNeely, 47, of Lenore, and Jordan Toler, 22, of Lincoln, turned themselves into State Police on Dec. 1. They are each charged with a misdemeanor of permitting escape.

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