MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The search is on for a West Memphis man convicted of attempted murder, who prosecutors say caught a ride with a juror during a court recess, then took off before he was sentenced.
32-year-old Madriekus Blakes was convicted of two counts of attempted first-degree murder and four counts of committing a terroristic act. Prosecutors say Sept. 27, 2018, Blakes fired four shots at a man and his father while they were sitting in a parked truck at a South Avalon Flash Market in West Memphis. Police said the two had been arguing over money Blakes claimed the man owed him.
Investigators say Tuesday night before jury deliberations in Blakes’ trial were set to begin Wednesday, the defendant was seen leaving the Crittenden County courthouse in an orange Camaro. The next day, bailiffs saw the Camaro return and a juror get out of the car.
Prosecutors say the judge questioned the juror, who admitted to driving Blakes home, but said he and Blakes “did not talk about the case” during the trip. The juror was excused, and an alternate named as deliberations began.
During the deliberations, investigators say Blakes left the courthouse walking along East Military Road. He did not return, and after about 40 minutes, the jurors reached the verdicts, with a recommended 20 years in prison on each of the attempted murder counts and a $5,000 fine on the remaining counts.
The judge will officially sentence Blakes when he is recaptured.
If you know where Blakes can be located, contact law enforcement.