Escapee admits running, stealing

A Douglas County Jail trusty who ran away after emptying the trash last year admitted to escaping from jail and possession of stolen property.

Jose Luis Estrada Tufino, 36, entered guilty pleas to both charges on Monday during an arraignment before District Judge Michael Gibbons.

Tufino was serving a one-year jail sentence at the Stateline jail when he told Gibbons he learned of his father's death in Mexico.

He remained gone for nine months and was arrested while trying to cross the border to see his 14-year-old daughter who is having surgery in July.

"I know it was not the right decision and I apologize to the court," he said.

Tufino admitted to taking $1,140 in clothing from two stores at Harrah's.

He said he was trading the clothing for cocaine and crack. He blamed the drugs for the loss of his job, and the breakup of his marriage.

"I lost everything and was living on the streets," he said. "I didn't have any money so I started stealing. I know it's not an excuse."

Tufino also admitted to being in the country illegally. Gibbons said that means he will probably be deported.

"You have a hard luck story, but you still have to be held accountable for your actions," Gibbons said.

Sentencing was set for June 4.

n Gibbons issued a set of bench warrants for men who hadn't paid their court-ordered fees.

A $4,000 cash bench warrant was issued for Christian Morgan for allegedly failing to pay $3,155.70 in fines and restitution.

Morgan, 28, was sentenced in October 2005 to at least one year in prison after he stole at least two cars, one while he was awaiting sentencing on a previous stolen vehicle charge. Morgan was ordered to pay resititution and $2,130 in extradition fees.

A cash-only $750 bench warrant was issued for James Kirby, and a $100 warrant was issued for Brian K. Ramsell.

Gibbons said the warrants were the result of the court's attempt to collect fines and fees as requested by the Legislature.

Typically, Gibbons orders defendants ordered to prison to appear before him on the first Monday after their release to work out their payments.


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