2 inmates escape,
1 still on the loose

Wanda English Burnett

(Editor's note: Short was captured on Monday after this paper went to press.)

A convicted child molester along with an inmate facing charges of Rape, Criminal Deviate Conduct, Criminal Confinement and Battery with a Deadly Weapon escaped from the Ripley County Jail in the morning hours of Sunday, September 4.

Stanley Short, 42, of Sunman, is described as 5’7", 145 pounds, brown hair and blue eyes and was still on the loose at press time (4 p.m. Monday, September 5). Short has been charged with several serious violent felonies described above and is considered dangerous, according to information from Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills.

According to Ripley Publishing files, Short was initially wanted for a serious violent felony that occurred on May 25 in the Sunman area. He remained on the loose until the early morning hours of June 1 when deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to a tip and took Short into custody without incident. He was incarcerated in the Ripley County Jail where he was waiting for trial when he escaped. At Short’s initial hearing, Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul set his bail at $150,000, saying he was a danger to society. This means he would need $15,050 cash to get out of jail.

Also escaping was Robert Huskey, 63, formerly of Osgood, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Thursday of last week, September 1.

Huskey was found guilty by a jury of Attempted Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, a Class B felony, and Sexual Misconduct With a Minor, Class C felony. These convictions violated Huskey’s probation in another case that dated back to 1995, where he was serving a 20-year probation sentence.

After he was found guilty of the recent charges on July 13, Special Judge John Westhafer sentenced Huskey to 20 years in prison for violating his parole. Then on September 1 Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul added 15 years to the sentence for Attempted Sexual Misconduct With a Minor for a total of 35 consecutive years in prison.

Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel had concerns about the jail break and told the Osgood Journal he wasn’t sure why Huskey hadn’t been transported as of Sunday. His sentencing was on Thursday of last week. He also noted that given the defendant’s criminal history he (Hertel) considered Huskey to be a definite threat to the public while he was escaped, saying he had “basically little to lose.”

Short faces up to 50 years in prison according to Hertel if he is convicted on the felony charges. He said he is also to be considered dangerous.

Huskey’s freedom was short lived as he was taken into custody around midnight Sunday, September 4 - the same day he escaped. He was found at the Marathon Station in Versailles. According to Sheriff Grills a citizen’s tip had police quickly taking Huskey into custody without any problems.

Sheriff Grills told the Osgood Journal that the pair escaped through the fencing at the recreation area at the jail. He noted that there is an interior fence they were able to pry apart and then they could scale the outside fence in the only area that doesn’t have razor wire on it. They then jumped onto a canopy and were off and running. The sheriff has contacted the commissioners to get the fences repaired and fixed properly. “It’s been that way for eight years and no one noticed,” he said. He said luck was on the criminals’ side this time as the rain kept police from using K-9 searches and the helicopters from flying. “From our perspective everything that could go wrong, did,” he noted.

The two apparently separated after escaping with Short still being on the run. If you recognize his photo or know of his whereabouts, you are urged to contact police by calling 911, or the sheriff’s office at 812-689-5558 or dispatch at 812-689-5555.

The two could now face additional charges of Escape, which carries a two to eight year sentence.