STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
BLANCO — After a nearly two-hour manhunt, authorities on July 10 captured a suspect who had escaped from a patrol vehicle when investigators were in the midst of processing a crime scene to which the man was linked, according to Blanco County officials.
Brett Justis, 24, a Blanco County resident, was first arrested at about 3:30 a.m. that day after homeowners on Cox Road alerted dispatchers that their house was being burglarized.
“(The homeowners) were hiding and called 911 when they realized the suspect was in the house,” said Blanco County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Robert Woodring.
Deputies arrived, found a vehicle blocking entrance to the residence, moved the vehicle, and noticed an open door in the back of the house.
Officers searched the home, found the suspect in a bathroom, and arrested him.
Evidence collected at the scene included methamphetamines and marijuana found in the suspect’s vehicle, the report stated.
Just after 5 a.m., while processing the scene, the handcuffed suspect escaped custody, according to the report.
“He figured out a way to get out of the (deputy’s) vehicle,” Woodring said.
An hour-long search ensued with the assistance of agencies from Blanco and Johnson City as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Travis County STAR Flight helicopter.
“In the search, one of the deputies located (the suspect), and he gave up,” Woodring said.
The suspect was found nearly two hours later about a mile away on property in the 3100 block of Cox Road.
As of July 12, Justis remained in the Blanco County Jail on charges of felony burglary of a habitation, felony escape, and possession of a controlled substance.
As of publication, no bond had been set.