By Joe Beck -- email@example.com
Two prisoners, including a former defendant in several Shenandoah county criminal cases, are back behind bars after escaping from a work detail in Augusta County Wednesday.
Shawn M. Barb, 36, and Joshua R. Ansell, 28, were apprehended just after 5 p.m. without incident in Staunton, according to agency spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
Both prisoners surrendered after confronted in an alley near Statler Boulevard by State Police Trooper S.A. Simmons, who had been flagged down by a bystander, according to a statement by state police.
State prison officials identified Barb as the man from Shenandoah County. Barb was serving more than seven years for a series of offenses committed from 2002 to 2010 in Shenandoah, Page and Rockingham counties, according to records from the Department of Corrections. The offenses listed in the records include credit card larceny and theft, perjury and receiving stolen property. No violent crimes are listed.
Barb's last conviction in Shenandoah County came on Dec. 1, 2004 for perjury, according to state prison records. He also had his probation revoked on the same day. The probation sentence was linked to an earlier conviction for receiving stolen property. Online court records from Shenandoah County give no address for him at the time of the convictions.
A press release issued by the Department of Corrections said two men, later identified as Barb and Joshua R. Ansell, 28, walked away from a prison work unit at the Augusta County Landfill around 10:25 a.m. Both were serving sentences at the Cold Springs Field Unit 10 in Greenville, prison officials said.
Ansell's convictions include involuntary manslaughter from driving under the influence, according to prison records.
A spokesman with the Augusta Sheriff's Office said 35 law enforcement officers from different agencies combed an area west of the landfill and had alerted local residents to the inmates' escape. A helicopter was being used to help in the search, he said.