Convicted Sex Offender Cuts GPS and Runs . . . Again28-Feb-2014
A repeat sex offender under lifetime probation has cut his GPS ankle monitor and walked away from a halfway house, and this is not the first time he has pulled such a stunt.
Eric Eugene Hartwell, 51, was living in a halfway house following a previous conviction for failure to register as a sex offender after walking away from another halfway house and travelling to another state.
Hartwell's timeline makes it seem unlikely that, upon capture, he will be given such continued leniency.
His sex offender record begins in 1991, when he raped a neighbor's 6-year-old daughter. He was sentenced to only 6-1/2 years for child rape, but his sentence was suspended on the condition that he complete a sex offender treatment program. Five years later, in 1996, Hartwell was still serving probation for his suspended sentence when he attempted to rape a pregnant 17-year-old hitchhiker. Despite his prior conviction for child rape, Hartwell was released from prison in 2000.
Police say the man had multiple parole violations, including failure to register as a sex offender. Authorities call him a "serial predator," and say that he stays mobile by working odd jobs for cash. He is known to travel quickly from state to state, never bothering to register as a sex offender. In 2009, a United States Marshals inspector said of the Hartwell, "We've been able to track him over the years and it's no exaggeration to say that he could be in Maine one week, Florida the next and Texas the week after." Despite this knowledge that Hartwell repeatedly fails to register, his subsequent convictions for failure to register seem to do little to stop the problem.
In 2007, Hartwell served a month in jail for failing to register as a sex offender before he fled the state and was apprehended by U.S. Marshals later that year on failure to register charges. He was sentenced to prison for failure to register.
In January 2009, he was released to a county jail to serve an additional two months for failure to register. He was released from jail in March 2009 and ordered to GPS monitoring. However, he quickly cut off his ankle monitor and fled to Texas, where he was apprehended a month later.
In March 2010, Hartwell was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervision for failing to register as a sex offender in Texas in the 2009 incident. He was paroled to a halfway house in December 2013, after serving less than 4 years of the federal sentence.
Now, Hartwell has again followed his own precedent by cutting off his GPS ankle monitor and again walking away from a halfway house in Denver, Colorado. A federal fugitive warrant was issued within minutes of the ankle monitor being disabled. Hartwell is wanted by both state police and federal agents.
Hartwell is the subject of a "nationwide felony warrant for parole violation sex assault," according to a tweet from the Denver Police Department. Federal agents are offering a reward for his capture. In order to report a tip to the U.S. Marshals Service, call the tipline at 877-WANTED2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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