Work Release prisoner on the run for two years
Fugitive on sheriff's most wanted list is caught

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

After being sentenced to a work release program through the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office in 2005, Carl W. (Billy) Lay, 35, of Milan, simply walked away after serving about six weeks.

Lay had been featured on the sheriff’s most wanted list as a fugitive since October 7, 2005, when he failed to return to the jail after a work release detail. He was arrested recently in Boone County, Kentucky, after being involved in a domestic disturbance, according to Sheriff Tom Grills.

The fugitive was transported back to the Ripley County Jail by the sheriff on Monday morning, November 26 without incident. He was greeted by Jailer Bill McDonald, who was familiar with the previous inmate, who he said “caused no trouble while incarcerated in the jail.”

Lay was picked up on a warrant for failure to report to probation on charges of check deception and operating a vehicle while intoxicated and sentenced to work release on August 4, 2005. He began the work release program on August 29, 2005, and didn’t return when he was scheduled to on October 7, 2005.

On October 12, 2005, Lay was charged with Failure to Return to Lawful Detention, a Class D Felony. According to Prosecutor Ric Hertel, the D felony charge could mean up to three years additional incarceration for Lay.

Sheriff Thomas Grills brings Carl W. (Billy) Lay, into the booking area at the Ripley County Jail on Monday morning, November 26. The prisoner had failed to return from the work release program and was on the run for more than two years.