Last of 4 Kansas escapees captured in Nebraska

This photo provided Wednesday, April 18, 2012, by the Kansas Department of Corrections shows Santos Carrera, 22, one of four people who broke out of the county jail in Minneapolis, Kan., Wednesday, prompting school officials to call off classes. Authorities said one of the men was quickly apprehended. Carrera is in prison for a first-degree murder in Sedgwick County that happened in March 2007.
AP Photo/Kansas Department of Corrections

(AP) OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - The last of four inmates who had escaped from a north-central Kansas county jail was recaptured in Nebraska after nearly three days on the run.

The Kansas Department of Corrections said Eric James, 22, was arrested by police in Omaha, Neb., at about 5:30 p.m. Friday and was in custody. Department spokesman Jeremy Barclay said officials expected to begin legal proceedings Monday to return him to Kansas.

Barclay didn't have additional details about James' arrest, but said Omaha police also found a gold 2002 Nissan Altima that was stolen by the escaped inmates in Minneapolis, Kan., about 120 miles west of Topeka. The city is home to the Ottawa County Jail, where the inmates escaped from Wednesday morning.

The other three inmates, including a convicted murderer, all had been recaptured and returned to the state prison in Ellsworth, where they were being segregated from other inmates and each other, Barclay said. The escapees had been among 22 inmates moved to the Ottawa county jail from Ellsworth, because of overcrowding at the state prison.

"Law enforcement and the media were absolutely essential in getting the word out," Barclay said. "Law enforcement did a lot of legwork."

James was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping and criminal damage to property for crimes in three southeast Kansas counties over 10 days in February 2008. Authorities had believed he was driving the stolen Altima.

The Ottawa County sheriff has said James and the other inmates used homemade knives to overpower two guards, get into the jail's control room and open doors. The escape prompted the Department of Corrections to remove the remaining 18 inmates back to the prison at Ellsworth and start reassessing its contract to house inmates in Ottawa County.

Two of the escaped inmates were caught Wednesday. Convicted murderer and escapee Santos Carrera-Morales, 22, was arrested late Thursday in Russell, Kan., about 80 miles from the jail, the Kansas Department of Corrections said.