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Russian court puts fugitive killer back in jail

Posted on Jan 29, 10:11AM | IANS

A Russian court Monday sentenced a prisoner to 24 years in jail for his Hollywood-style helicopter escape from a high-security prison.

In March 2012, Alexei Shestakov, who had served half his previous 24-year term for murder, escaped from a prison after using a cell phone to hire accomplices.

The accomplices, a man and a woman, hijacked a Mi-2 helicopter at gunpoint and forced its pilot to fly over the prison.

Once it was in position over a prison yard, Shestakov climbed up a rope and into the hovering helicopter.

Prison guards fired shots, but to no avail.

The escapee and his accomplices landed nearby, in the northwest city of Vologda.

However, it was not long before the police caught Shestakov as he tried to hijack a car heading to Moscow.

"Threatening to blow up a grenade, he unlawfully took control of a vehicle," the General Prosecutor's Office said Monday.

"While driving, he noticed traffic police cars and attempted an escape. He abandoned the car, made it to the nearest vehicle service station and tried to steal another car but was detained by the police," the statement read.

Shestakov's accomplices were arrested soon after the breakout, and have been sentenced to 12 and 11 years in prison respectively.