>Sonora / Tuolumne News, Sports, & Weather, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, Jamestown | Union Democrat

News Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Man though to be escapee

Man though to be escapee


For 23 years and 11 months, Charles A. Winters lived in and around Reno, Nev., evidently a successful man.

He owned an automotive repair business called Auto Express at 9205 Lemon Valley Drive. He and his wife lived in a house in nearby Sparks.

Washoe County Sheriff Detective Tom Green used to live near Winters' business and said it was always busy.

But on Thursday, Green and five other law enforcement officers arrested Winters on suspicion of being a fugitive from justice. Green and the California Department of Corrections investigators said they believe Winters is really Sierra Conservation Center inmate Ray Wade Bell, who escaped July 5, 1979, while working outside the prison gates as a trusty.

"He visited with his wife the day before, and she was crying," said Terry Thornton, state Department of Corrections spokeswoman. "The next day, he escaped. He basically just walked away."

It is not known if the woman Winters was living with in Sparks was the same woman Bell had been married to when he escaped from SCC, near Jamestown.

Bell was serving a two-year sentence on burglary and attempted burglary convictions in Stanislaus County. He arrived at SCC on Dec. 15, 1978, and served a little more than six months of his sentence before walking away.

An anonymous tipster told Washoe County Sheriff's Department that Winters is Bell about two weeks ago.

Green said he and investigators from the state CDC Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit were convinced the tip was correct after matching Winters to a 1979 booking photo and Bell's fingerprints.

Winters had been arrested twice in Washoe County on suspicion of drunken driving, once in 1982 and again in 1990. But his fingerprints were never checked with those on file for any escaped inmates from California.

"When we arrested him, he kept saying we had the wrong guy and to call his lawyer, who would straighten it all out," Green said.

Follow UnionDemocrat.com

Get Today's Top Headlines to your inbox

The Union Democrat print edition

The Union Democrat 11/26/15

View Paper

The Union Democrat is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Tuesday through Saturday. E-Edition or Print Plus subscribers have full access.


If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access. Circulation: 209-533-3614

View all The Union Democrat print publications

Weekender by The Union Democrat

Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties

Weekender 11/19/15

View Guide

Available online every Friday or get it early in Thursday's print edition.

View past copies of the weekender

Local / Sports / Business / Stocks / News of Record / State / Nation/World / Obituaries / Submit News
Editorials / Letters
Union Democrat Photos / Community Photos /
Search Classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Homes / Rentals / Place an Ad
Online Extras
Weather / Local Business Links / Community Links / Photo Reprints
Union Democrat
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map

© Copyright 2001 - 2015 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use