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Month on run, years in prison

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A Johnson County man convicted of attempted murder was sent back to prison for eight years after he failed to return to a county detention center and was on the run for a month.

Michael Yarnell, 38, was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison, with three years for a charge of escape or failure to return to detention, and another five years after having his probation revoked from his previous attempted murder conviction.

Under state law, Yarnell gets credit for more than five months he spent in jail and also could have his prison sentenced reduced with credit for good behavior or completing education programs.

Yarnell was arrested in November in Terre Haute and pleaded guilty to an escape charge about a month later.

“He came in, said he did it and was sentenced,” Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.

Yarnell’s attorney, Matt Solomon, was not available Tuesday.

Yarnell was sentenced to spend 35 years in prison in December 1999 after he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder and burglary. Police said he broke into a Bargersville home and stabbed the owner multiple times when the owner woke up while Yarnell was stealing items from the home.

He served 13½ years of his prison sentence and was released in May. He was able to accumulate credit for good behavior while in prison, earning a GED and completing vocational education, which allowed him to be released this year. Yarnell then was sent to the county work release program, where inmates work during the day and then have to return to the county’s detention center at night.

On Oct. 6, he left the work release center to go to a home remodeling job in Franklin. He did not respond to phone calls from correctional officers and did not come back to the center by 8 p.m. when he was supposed to return, the report said.

The U.S. Marshals Task Force received a tip that Yarnell was staying with family in Brazil, about an hour west of Indianapolis. Police investigated, found him and arrested him at a gas station near Terre Haute.

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