Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 14, 2022
Zanesville fugitive convicted by jury
One dozen jurors in Muskingum County heard testimony for around five hours Thursday before returning a verdict of guilty as charged against Jay Arnold for recklessly fleeing from the police in 2016 in a car that was reported stolen.
Arnold, who obtained the vehicle from his father’s car lot in Putnam, was in a different car lot acting suspiciously in the middle of the night when Zanesville Patrolmen Jon Moore and Jason Keck intercepted his activities. Arnold pretended to cooperate with the officers before fleeing and eventually crashing the stolen car.
Arnold fled on foot and was not immediately apprehended, but he left behind his driver’s license in Patrolman Moore’s hand. It was later learned that he fled the state to Florida shortly thereafter and was provided refuge by his mother for a number of years.
Jurors heard that Arnold’s mother continued hiding him, even until the early part of this year, when detectives showed up to her home looking for Arnold where she had him hidden beneath a trap-door in her kitchen.
Testifying on behalf of Arnold were his mother, his sister, and a family friend, two of whom claimed that Arnold was in Florida at the time of the crime. Arnold’s sister attempted to convince the jury that Arnold’s father, who passed-away this year, had given him permission to use the car that was later reported stolen.
Ultimately, jurors were not convinced by the lengthy, perjured testimony of Arnold’s mother, nor the version of events presented by his sister. Instead, they believed the two officers who saw Arnold with their own eyes and collected his driver’s license from him before he sped off and almost hit them with his car.
Assistant Prosecutor Gerald Anderson presented the case for the State of Ohio. He delivered his final closing early in the afternoon. After 25 minutes, the jury delivered their verdict of guilty, disappointing Arnold who had bragged to corrections officers earlier that morning that he’d be a free man by 2:30 p.m.
Arnold will be sentenced at a later time. He faces up to 36 months in prison. As a result of testimony in the case, witnesses who were dishonest under oath were referred for investigation for the crime of perjury, which also carries a 36 month penalty.
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