The man suspected in the May 19 Fred’s Dollar Store fire in Dermott is now facing escape charges.
Jeremy Ray Lewis, 26, of Dermott, was charged today with third-degree escape after he escaped from the Desha County Courthouse where Circuit Judge Sam Pope had just sentenced him to a year in prison in an unrelated theft case.
Lewis was being brought down from the courtroom for processing Monday when he bolted out the door in handcuffs. He didn’t get far before he was located by Arkansas Department of Correction tracking dogs.
The dogs tracked him to the river levee in Arkansas City, about 1,000 yards from the courthouse, according to 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen.
In addition to the third-degree escape charge, Lewis is charged with causing a catastrophe, a form of arson, in connection with the Fred’s Dollar Store fire.