BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - A convicted sex offender and child pornographer, who had been on the run for over four months, is booked into the Baldwin County Jail Thursday, July 25.
John David Smith had been on the run since March 22, when he allegedly cut off his ankle monitoring device and fled his Robertsdale home the day he was to learn his sentence for his child pornography conviction.
According to the Baldwin County District Attorney's Office, Smith will remain in jail until his sentencing hearing. The DA's office will file a motion for the hearing to be held within the next few weeks.
From there, officials said Smith will be sent to the location where his sentence will be served. The location has not been disclosed at this time.
Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon classified Smith as a habitual offender. She said he should face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
"This sex offender will finally have face justice and pay for the crimes that he committed," said Assistant DA Rushing Payne.
Before being caught at a state park by a ranger in Oklahoma early this month, Smith led multiple authorities on a cross-country chase.
"What he has done to [his victim], how he has affected [his victim's] life, it's something that we'll never be able to fix or change," Payne said. "But [his victim] can still have this peace that comes from the justice from him having to actually face the prison time that he's owed."
It's been four months since he should've been within the razor wired fencing of the Baldwin County jail.
Payne said Smith has been as far west as Arizona, and as east as Maryland - living out of his car, eluding justice.
The case prompted a nationwide search.
"If someone does cut their ankle monitor, there will be instantaneous communication so [BCSO will] know right away if somebody is attempting to flee," Payne said. "In the future, if there is a criminal who has committed crimes of this magnitude and looking at the kind of prison time that he is, and if he's given bond, we're going to make sure there is surveillance of the defendant.
"It's just such a horrific crime," Payne continued. "And we are so happy that he will finally be facing justice and we will seek to put him in prison for the rest of his life."
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