Forrest City, AR -- A Forrest City Judge says lesson learned after a convicted felon failed to return from a 10-day "furlough" he granted, prompting a region-wide manhunt.
"Shall we say I believe it is a first," said Judge L.T. Simes.
Anthony Millbrooks turned himself in to Jonesboro Police on Wednesday night, days after he was originally scheduled to be sentenced.
On August 12th, Millbrooks entered a plea for his role in the 2010 murder of Roosevelt Willis. At the time, Millbrooks asked for 10-days to see a baby that had been born while he sat in jail. Simes says he always tries to balance mercy with justice, so he granted the request.
Simes set a sentencing hearing for August 22nd. On the day of the hearing, Millbrooks was nowhere to be found.
"Oh man, can you imagine," Simes said, reflecting on what he was thinking as he sat on the bench that day. "That's called experiences, we learn from experiences."
"I never heard of a murderer being let go," said Ruth Willis.
Willis was inside on the night her husband was killed, and said several of the bullets ended up in their home. She said she's lucky she wasn't hit.
"The bullets was coming all around me, but God's hands were just on me," she said.
She said the past few days have been stressful, as she worried with Millbrooks on the run.
"Now I will be able to sleep at night knowing he is back where he belongs," she said.
In court on Friday, Millbrooks appeared in an orange jumpsuit with his hands and feet shackled. He appeared before the judge and apologized for his actions. His lawyer apologized as well.
"If you don't have a strong mind, and maintain a positive attitude, your mind can go off the deep end quick," Simes said.
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