Three convicted felons escape Austin Transitional Center

*Update* The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force says that one of the two convicted felons that walked away from a halfway house, Brian Whitford, has been captured. Whitford was caught Wednesday at around 2 p.m. in San Antonio and taken to the Guadalupe County Jail.

Whitford will see a U.S. magistrate judge before being taken back to Austin. Whitford is expected to be sent back to TDCJ and will serve out the remainder of his sentence. Additional time could be added due to Whitford's escape.

This is an update to a previous story. The original version is as follows:

In the past two weeks three convicted felons have walked away from a halfway house in Southeast Travis County.

Steve Stackpole lives across Highway 71 from the Austin Transitional Center in Del Valle. It is a 420 bed facility that houses those exiting the prison system. Stackpole was startled to know about the amount of offenders who have recently escaped.

"Somebody's going to eventually get hurt over here because these people don't want to go back to jail," he said.

On March 30th Majesti Williams walked away. On her notice of escape she is labeled as dangerous with violent behavior. She served 37 months in prison for use and possession of fraudulent identifying documents.

On April 9th known Crips gang member and convicted drug dealer Larry Egins left followed by convicted bank robber Brian Whitford on April 11th.

The U.S. marshals are searching for all three. Hector Gomez says Egins, who has been under criminal justice supervision the majority of his adult life, is most concerning.

"Obviously with his history of violence, his possession of firearms, poses a great deal of danger to the community and law enforcement," said Gomez.

Those living at the facility are on the honor system as they work and re-integrate themselves back into society.

Gomez says last year 18 walked away from the facility.

Deputy marshals captured all, but Veronica Sandoval. She was convicted of transporting an undocumented alien for financial gain.

The most high profile escapee was perhaps convicted sex offender Kevin Stoeser. He escaped in 2013. His skull was found in Stackpole's neighborhood last fall. The cause of death is unknown.

Gomez says the number of escapees isn't alarming and he doesn't blame the facility itself.

"I don't see anything wrong with the transition center or these are just to me obviously bad decisions made by individuals who just do not adhere to the basic rules of a halfway house," said Gomez.

Stackpole has learned to live among the offenders, but he thinks there ought to be some type of warning system for he and his neighbors before another escape.

"That scares the hell out of me. We should know, " said Stackpole. "People out here should at least have a reverse 9-1-1 or something let us know. They leave us hanging and it's not right."

When offenders are caught they are charged with escape. If convicted they must serve the remainder of the time they were to have spent in the transitional facility, plus the sentence for the escape charge in prison.

If you know the whereabouts of the escapees call the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force at 512-800-4213. You can remain anonymous.

FOX 7 contacted the Federal Bureau of Prisons about the recent escapees, as of news time Monday night, a representative had not responded.

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