Posted Jan. 10, 2008 – Two slick fugitives who pulled off a hollywood-style escape from a New Jersey jail are now back in custody.
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U.S. and Mexican officials tracked 32-year-old Otis Blunt to a $10-a night-hotel in Mexico City and arrested him. Blunt's arrest came less than a day after authorities caught his accused cohort, convicted killer Jose Espinosa, in a basement apartment a few blocks from the jail.
Blunt, through the help of a friend and the Rev. Al Sharpton, negotiated with US Marshals and Mexican officials Wednesday as to how Blunt was going to surrender. Initially, Blunt said that he had three conditions – he wanted to see his wife and children; he did not want to return to the Union County Jail from which he and Espinosa had escaped; and he wanted someone to look at the surveillance tape from the armed robbery he was charged with. Blunt says the tape will in fact show that he did not commit the crime.
There's no word on whether or not officials agreed to Blunt's requests.
On Tuesday, Espinosa was scooped back up by authorities – just six blocks from the jail. Espinosa was chilling out in a nearby apartment building, as if he were waiting for the authorities, when law-enforcement officials swarmed the complex and arrested the 20-year-old without incident in the town of Elizabeth , according to James T. Plousis, U.S. marshal for New Jersey. He said that Espinosa had suffered a leg injury during his Dec. 15 escape.
Espino and Blunt busted out of the Union County detention facility using a clever, movie-inspired plan.
Blunt, mimicking the breakout in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption," chipped a hole in the cinderblock wall, covering it up with a magazine pin-up girl, and later leapt onto a lower roof before scaling a 25-foot, razor-wire-topped fence to freedom. Blunt and Espinosa left a note thanking correction officer Rudolph Zurick for abetting their escape. Zurick committed suicide on Jan. 2, the day he was supposed to speak to investigators about his possible role. He was buried Monday.
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