Howard Co. Prosecutors Won’t Charge Convict who Escaped for Five Days in Jessup

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David Watson, captured last Friday. Photo via Howard County Police Department.

David Watson, the escaped convict who hid out in the woods in Jessup for nearly a week before being found in a storm drain this month, won’t be charged for his antics in Howard County.

Prosecutors dropped escape and assault charges against Watson during a hearing at the Howard County District Courthouse yesterday. In a release, the state’s attorney’s office noted he’s also being charged with escape in Wicomico County, where he was being held before his daring and ill-fated jailbreak.

Watson, 28, is serving a 106-year attempted murder sentence for shooting into a Delaware police officer’s house in 2012. He’s also been charged with attempted murder for shooting at Eastern Shore cops’ houses near the Maryland-Delaware border during that same spree.

On Friday, April 28, corrections officers brought him to Clifton Perkins Hospital in Jessup for a mental health evaluation. Outside the facility that morning, Watson pushed an officer down while he was opening the doors to his transport van. He then managed to shed his shackles and flee into the woods, where he evaded the U.S. Marshals, Howard County police and others for five-and-a-half days.

On Thursday night, tactical officers finally found him hanging out in an 18-inch wide drainpipe. They arrested him and held him in Howard County for his mental evaluation before sending him back to where he came from – Wicomico County, that is.

Prosecutors didn’t share their reasoning for dropping the charges, but it likely has to do with the fact that Watson is staring down many more years of prison time for attempted murder in Wicomico County already, in addition to the new first-degree escape charge he now faces there.

His bail hearing is set for tomorrow in at the Wicomico County Circuit Courthouse.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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