Russian Court Puts Fugitive Killer Back Behind Bars

MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosi) – A Russian court sentenced a prisoner to 24 years in jail for his Hollywood-style helicopter escape from a high-security prison, the General Prosecutor’s office announced on Monday.

Last March, Alexei Shestakov, who had served half his previous 24-year term for murder, escaped from a high-security prison after using a cell phone, which is banned in prison, to hire accomplices.

The accomplices, a man and a woman, hijacked a Mi-2 helicopter at gunpoint and forced its pilot to fly over the prison. Once it was in position over a prison yard, Shestakov then climbed up a rope and into the hovering helicopter. Prison guards reportedly fired shots, but to no avail.

The escapee and his accomplices landed nearby, in the northwest city of Vologda. However, it was not long before the police caught Shestakov as he tried to hijack a car heading to Moscow. “Threatening to blow up a grenade, he unlawfully took control of a vehicle,” the General Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

“While driving, he noticed traffic police cars and attempted an escape: he abandoned the car, made it to the nearest vehicle service station and tried to steal another car but was detained by the police,” the statement read.

Shestakov’s accomplices were arrested soon after the breakout, and have been sentenced to 12 and 11 years in prison respectively.


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