News and Tribune

January 28, 2011

Report: Forgery suspect from New Albany escaped from hospital

Police seek man who allegedly stole checks from family

By MATT THACKER
Matt.Thacker@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Southern Indiana police are searching for a New Albany fugitive accused of escaping from a hospital on Tuesday.

Jason K. Wagoner, 27, was accused of stealing a family member’s bank checks during the summer and forging that person’s signature to them, according to an Indiana State Police news release. Police said he cashed more than $4,400 in stolen checks at several bank locations in Jeffersonville and New Albany.

Wagoner was arrested Monday in Jeffersonville and taken to the Michael L. Becher Adult Corrections Complex to be held on $5,000 cash only bond. He was later transported from the jail to University Hospital in Louisville due to stroke symptoms, according to a sheriff’s department report. The hospital staff was instructed to notify the Clark County Sheriff’s Department when he would be discharged.

The sheriff’s department was notified at about 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday that Wagoner walked out of the facility wearing a blue hoodie and a non-descript ball cap. A hospital employee told police Wagoner’s wife was seen in the room with him about 10 minutes prior to him leaving.

Wagoner did not appear Thursday at a scheduled initial hearing in Clark County. The Clark County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday charged Wagoner with class D felony escape, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Clark County Sheriff’s Department Maj. Chuck Adams said on Friday that detectives were searching for him.

Wagoner faces five counts of class C felony forgery in Clark County, and he has an active warrant in Floyd County for eight counts of class C felony forgery, eight counts of class D felony check fraud and class D felony theft.

Each class C felony carries a possible sentence of two to eight years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine, while each class D felony carries a possible sentence of six months to three years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.

Adams said anyone with information of Wagoner’s whereabouts should call the sheriff’s department’s anonymous tip line at 812-280-CCSO (2276).