Jail escapee caught in Texas<BR>

An 18-year-old Kingman resident who escaped from the Mohave County Jail last year was arrested last week along with an accomplice in the Texas border city of El Paso.

Joseph Barela was captured July 17 at his home.

He was identified following the arrest of an accomplice, Ruben Perez, 28, during an aggravated robbery July 16, said El Paso police Sgt.

Al Velarde.

"Once we brought in Perez, we made then the connection with Barela," Velarde said.

Barela and Perez was arrested on charges of two counts of attempted murder for the alleged shooting and carjacking of a couple July 9 at a mountainside parking lot outside of El Paso, Velarde said.

El Paso police are also investigating as many as 11 other charges involving Barela and Perez, including several carjackings and aggravated robberies and possible the sexual assault and murder of a woman in May, all in the El Paso area, Velarde said.

Barela pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder in a robbery and shooting in April, 1998 of two North Carolina men at a Kingman motel, said Mohave County sheriff spokesman Steve Johnson.

Barela escaped in February 1999, only 10 days before he was to be sentenced to as long as 31 years in prison through a plea bargain, Johnson said

Barela escaped after taking the identity of another inmate and mixing in with a cleaning work detail, Johnson said.

He is also believed to be a member of a Norwalk, Calif., street gang.

Barela faces charges in El Paso and if sentenced in Texas, he could return to Kingman to be sentenced.