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Arkansas authorities hunt for escaped inmate sentenced to life for raping minor

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Arkansas authorities are searching for an escaped inmate convicted of raping a minor and tampering with physical evidence in 2013, according to county records.

Samuel Hartman, a 38-year-old inmate at the East Arkansas Regional Unit, was sentenced to life in 2013 but escaped on a work detail in a field near the detention facility, according to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Hartman and two suspected accomplices allegedly fired at correctional officers who were chasing the pair. 

Authorities are searching for Hartman’s 38-year-old sister, Misty Hartman, and his 60-year-old mother, Linda Annette White, in connection to Hartman’s escape.

In a phone call recording between Samuel Hartman and White obtained by prosecutors, Hartman can be heard telling his mother that he touched the victim by “accident,” and that the touching was “innocent,” court documents state.

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“I’d just keep denying everything to the end. That’s what I would do, regardless,” White told her son in a recorded phone call, court records state.

She also told her son that “kids, they tell all kinds of sh*t all the time.”

“I mean, you know damn well you ain’t done nothing like that,” she said in a recorded call, according to court filings.

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The escapee is considered armed and dangerous and might have a beard. Hartman also has several tattoos, including a rose, a heart, a sword, the phrase “Forever & Always,” and the phrase “Sam-N-Christine.”

The trio might be driving a white, 2021 Chevy Trail Boss with four doors, black rims and an Arkansas license plate with the number 398ZVY.

The trio may be driving in a white 2021 Chevy truck with Arkansas license plates.
(Arkansas Department of Corrections)

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Hartman has a lengthy list of disciplinary violations ranging from multiple possession or manufacturing of contraband items to battery to sexual activity between 2017 and 2020.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about Hartman or his accomplice to contact a local law enforcement agency.

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