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A 36-year-old Fries man who defied a federal court in December has gotten his family members in trouble with the law, too.
Jonathan Reed Stiltner failed to appear for his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Greensboro, N.C., and U.S. Marshals almost caught up with him in a search at a home in Carroll County days later.
But, Stiltner slipped away while — as federal authorities allege — his wife told marshals she didn't know where he was.
Stiltner faced sentencing in federal court for escaping from a rehabilitation program in Winston-Salem, N.C., in October 2009. He pleaded guilty to the escape charge June 9, 2010.
(He was in the rehab program as part of a sentence stemming from his conviction on bank larceny charges.)
For the escape, Stiltner faced additional jail time and/or a fine.
As the dragnet in Carroll County drew closer, Stiltner allegedly slipped away with the help of his wife, according to documents from the federal court.
A marshal working the Dec. 3, 2010, search contacted Chastity Stiltner, the fugitive's wife. When the marshal asked about Jonathan Stiltner's whereabouts, Chastity Stiltner claimed not to know.
"She was advised it was a crime to make false statements during an investigation and again was asked the location of Stiltner," according to the warrant. "Again, she denied having any knowledge of the subject's location."
The marshal then talked with another family member, who had initially denied knowing where Stiltner was. This person confirmed that the fugitive was in her home, according to the warrant.
"After focusing our attention on the home, it became apparent to the investigative team that the fugitive had utilized the timeframe in which [the family members] were being interviewed to escape the home from the rear left bedroom window," the court documents stated.
The resulting five-hour search of the woods did not turn up Stiltner.
The marshal again confronted Chastity Stiltner, and she admitted that she and her husband had been staying in the family member's home in Carroll County since Dec. 1, 2010, the court papers said.
"It was inquired why she had lied to this deputy concerning the subject's location, which she provided no defense," the documents said. "She only stated that it was her knowledge that [her husband] was facing a long sentence."
Further documents filed with the federal court in Abingdon show that a judge there ordered Chastity Stiltner detained while awaiting a court appearance.
The U.S. Marshal asked Chastity Stiltner to appear at his office on Dec. 6, 2010, to further discuss her husband's whereabouts, but court papers say she did not show up.
"The defendant and her husband's whereabouts remained unknown from Dec. 3, 2010, until they were arrested on Dec. 22, 2010, in a motel room in Bluefield, W.Va.," the detention order said.
Records on file in federal court in North Carolina show that Jonathan Stiltner has been sentenced, but the outcome of his sentencing has been sealed by the court.
No trial date has been set for Chastity Stiltner, who is in federal custody on charges of aiding and abetting a fugitive.