Searchers come up empty in hunt for third escapee

Saturday, June 27, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Johnny Paul Coffman
... still at large
LEBANON -- Police responded Friday to about half a dozen possible sightings of Johnny Paul Coffman, an inmate who escaped Warren County Jail Tuesday, but none of the tips panned out.

Mr. Coffman, 24, of Middletown, remains at large.

Two other escaped prisoners, Rashad Ajin Gary, 20, of Dayton, Ohio, and Matthew David Henderson, 19, of Fairborn, Ohio, were captured Thursday.

They each pleaded not guilty to felony charges of escape, breaking and entering, and burglary during arraignment hearings Thursday in Lebanon Municipal Court. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Monday.

Deputies and police are contacting family members and friends and continuing to search for Mr. Coffman, said Capt. Gary Miller of the Warren County Sheriff's Office.

While "it's nice to catch them right away," the lapse of time doesn't necessarily decrease the chances of catching Mr. Coffman, Capt. Miller said.

Mr. Coffman was in jail for a probation violation for robbing an urgent-care medical facility, his sister-in-law Marcie Coffman said Friday.

"Johnny's not dangerous," she said. "He is a criminal, and I'm not saying he's not. But he's not the evil mass murderer everybody's making him out to be."

Mrs. Coffman said her brother-in-law has a drug problem and needs rehabilitation and treatment, not more jail time.

"I'm worried about him," she said. "He might not have no food and no clothes."

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