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Police: Convicted rapist turns self in after leaving court during jury deliberation

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 8:20 AM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - The Chesterfield Sheriff’s Office says a man who left the court during a jury deliberation for his rape trial has been captured after he turned himself in.

Following a two-day jury trial for rape, defendant John Irvin, 48, did not return to the courtroom when the court reconvened on Wednesday evening.

“He walked out of the courthouse and proceeded to the wood line, we suspect that he caught a ride,” said Capt. Eric Jones with the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Video footage showed Irvin walking through the wood line onto Route 10.

While he was gone, the jury found Irvin, who was out on bond, guilty of rape and recommended a sentence of five years and one day in prison.

Irvin is described as being 6-feet-tall, 180 pounds, with a shoulder tattoo that says “Rae.”

The sheriff’s office says he was already out on bond at the time, so this is not considered an escape, but the judge immediately revoked Irvin’s bond and issued a “capias for his arrest for absconding from the court.”

Nearby residents are hoping that Irvin didn’t decide to linger near the courthouse.

“I don’t think he’s going to stay in the area too long. He’ll be trying to get as far away as he can,” said resident Edward Henderson

He and his wife live opposite the courthouse, on the other side of Iron Bridge Road.

While they say they’re not too worried, they do plan to stay vigilant.

“Make sure that everything is secure, and take notice of anybody strange walking up and down the street. And we’ve got a lot of bushes in the back, so you have to be kind of cautious and making sure that there’s nothing strange going on out there,” Henderson added.

When he’s eventually caught, the sheriff’s office says that he’ll also be facing a court violation for absconding.

According to the sheriff’s office, Irvin was arrested this morning without incident after notifying Chesterfield Emergency Communications where he would be and that he wanted to turn himself in.

Irvin is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail with no bond.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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