A Wichita Falls registered sex offender who recently escaped from a halfway house in Tarrant County reportedly penned a thank you note before he died on a South Carolina beach, according to the CBS News affiliate in Fort Worth yesterday, Friday, August 21. Brent Allen Jozefkowicz, who was twice convicted in Wichita Falls of sex-related offenses reportedly left a written thank you note on the sands of the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina coastline.
Jozefkowicz, who was living in a parole halfway house, cut his ankle monitors and escaped on a motorcycle. New information has surfaced in the case which has resulted in four people being charged with helping the registered sex offender escape. Law enforcement has now determined the escapee’s motorcycle was allegedly provided by Fort Worth businessman Jon Ryan Evans, according to CBS 11 News. With the borrowed motorcycle Jozefkowicz was able to flee the state of Texas where he was listed by the DPS as one of its 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders.
Wichita Falls law enforcement was alerted the former Wichita Falls resident might be returning home to this city near the Red River in North Texas. If he did return to this city of 105,000 he didn’t stay long as he fell on his motorcycle and broke his leg somewhere en route to South Carolina. After breaking his leg he reportedly took his own life on the beach of South Carolina after writing a thank you note to four people who allegedly aided him in his bizarre escape.
That led law enforcement officials to the doorstep of Evans who owns a pet cemetery near Loop 820, off Highway 287 in Tarrant County, Texas. State police yesterday, Friday, August 21, executed a search warrant at the cemetery. Police discovered a walk-in vault in a pet crematorium, with evidence of a marijuana-growing operation, according to law enforcement officials. CBS 11 further reported that sophisticated lighting and water sprinkling systems were discovered as police executed the search warrant.
Court records revealed Evans was then charged with a felony offense of hindering arrest. Others have now also been charged in aiding the escape of the former Wichita Falls man.
Reports today indicate that Teresa Kay Shook, 51; Russell Wayne Shook, 54; and Paula Pedigo, 45 were also arrested in connection with the ill-fated escape attempt, according to WFAA News of Dallas today. Each of the charged people are facing up to a maximum of 10 years in the Texas penitentiary system, according to Lonny Haschel, with the Texas Department of Public Safety. They could also face a possible maximum fine of $10,000 is convicted of the third degree felony.
This whole saga began years ago in Wichita Falls when Jozefkowicz was sentenced to 16 years in prison in court for assaulting a 21 year old female. He also served two years on an indecency with a child charge. In the wake of Jozefkowicz walking away from a halfway house located in the 600 block of North Henderson Street in Fort Worth, Wichita Falls authorities were on the lookout for him. Law enforcement described him as “extremely dangerous.”
The halfway house on Henderson Street is the same location from which another sex offender Charles Sprague escaped in April. After his escape he kidnapped and robbed a woman. Sprague was captured two days later at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Oklahoma.
Attorney Christy Jack told Channel 8 News that state officials have signed a contract to use a vacant private prison in Littlefield near Lubbock to house sex offenders under a civil commitment. Jack said sex offenders won’t be allowed to leave this new facility to work outside in the community.
The use of halfway houses for convicted sex offenders has come under frequent criticism because of the dangers created for the public at large. That criticism may be warranted in light of these two recent cases. Use of the vacant prison in Littlefield appears to be a step in the right direction. It should be more difficult for registered sex offenders to escape from this more secure facility. If authorities are going to allow these offenders loose to work in the community, they should at least warn law-abiding citizens that they are at risk.