Convicted rapist who escaped from southern Minnesota jail is captured in a field 6 miles away

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of aiding the inmate after his escape


November 3, 2023

A convicted rapist who escaped from a county jail in southern Minnesota was captured in a field following a chase late Wednesday just a few miles outside of town, officials said Thursday.

Leonardo Lopez Jr., 36, fled from the Watonwan County jail in St. James shortly before 7 p.m. Monday as he was being transferred from one area of the jail to another.

St. James police and sheriff's deputies tracked down Lopez in a pickup truck about 6 miles north of town on 710th Avenue near Hwy. 30, said chief sheriff's Deputy Mark Slater.


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