Hope House escapee caught, girlfriend arrested

BY DI STAFF | JULY 08, 2011 7:20 AM

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Alajuwon Johnson, who reportedly escaped from the Hope House during work leave almost three weeks ago, was caught Thursday and placed in the Johnson County Jail, according to jail officials.

The 27-year-old is being held under the charge of voluntary absence on a $2,000 cash or surety bond.

Johnson was previously charged with accidentally killing 20-year-old Kylie Jo Perkins in her apartment Dec. 30, 2009. He entered an Alford plea to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, a Class D felony, and he received a sentence of five years in prison.

After failing to return from a June 13 work release from the Hope House, he was placed on escapee status July 1.

Fred Scaletta, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said more information on Johnson’s arrest will be made available today.

According to Iowa City police, Johnson’s girlfriend, Stephanie Dunbar, was arrested Wednesday after allegedly helping the inmate evade officers.

Dunbar admitted under Miranda she had picked Johnson up after he took off running from police July 2.

Dunbar was charged with aiding and abetting Johnson, which police say she did knowingly and voluntarily. Aiding and abetting an absent inmate is a serious misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,875.

— by Ariana Witt

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