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2 flee Texas jail, 1 faces capital murder charge

Hopkins County Jail escapees John Marlin King and Brian Allen Tucker Hopkins County Jail escapees John Marlin King and Brian Allen Tucker

SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — Two inmates with long criminal histories — including one awaiting trial for capital murder — were the focus of a manhunt involving dogs and a helicopter Tuesday after they escaped from an East Texas jail.

Brian Allen Tucker of Sulphur Springs and John Marlin King of Cumby escaped from the Hopkins County Jail around 8 a.m. Tuesday, officials with the Hopkins County Sheriff's Office said. Dispatcher Beth Renfro said a maintenance person noticed a problem with a fence around a recreation yard used by female inmates at the jail in Sulphur Springs, about 75 miles northeast of Dallas.

The two men are believed to be wearing white T-shirts and boxer shorts, Deputy Alvin Jordan said. Their black-and-white jail uniforms were found on rail tracks a short distance east of the jail.

Sheriff's deputies are combing through the woods east of the jail and have set up a perimeter around the area, Jordan said.

Tucker was being held on $1 million bond in the 2011 death of Bobby Riley of Mahoney. Riley was found strangled in his home and some music instruments and firearms had been stolen. Jury selection in his murder trial was set to begin June 3.

Tucker was previously convicted of burglary and driving while intoxicated, and has been arrested several times for violating parole.

King was being held on several charges, including evading arrest, burglary and possession of a controlled substance. He's been convicted previously of burglary and possession of a controlled substance. According to court documents, he pleaded guilty last month to the possession charge as a habitual offender and received a sentence of 40 years in prison.

Local schools have been locked down as a precaution, though classes were continuing as normal, an official for the Sulphur Springs schools said.

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