LAPORTE, Ind. (AP/WOOD) — A convicted quadruple murderer who escaped from the state prison near Ionia has been returned to Michigan.
Michael David Elliot, 40, arrived late Thursday afternoon at the Charles Egeler Reception & Guidance Center in Jackson, Mich.
Earlier in the day, he withdrew his court motion fighting extradition from Indiana during a brief hearing in LaPorte County, Ind. After the hearing, he maintained he is not guilty of the four murders of which he was convicted.
“I just wanted to say that my conviction is based on lies from people who lied to save themselves from life in prison,” he told reporters as he was escorted from the courtroom.
“I’m innocent,” he then shouted from an elevator.
Elliot escaped Feb. 2 from the Ionia Correctional Facility and was captured in northern Indiana the next day.
As he fought extradition, he remained held in the LaPorte County jail for about six weeks on an auto theft charge. Deputy LaPorte County Prosecutor Christopher Fronk said Thursday that charge was dropped.
Elliot is serving five life sentences without parole after being convicted of fatally shooting four people and burning down their Gladwin County house in 1993 when he was 20. He has always said he is not guilty and told 24 Hour News 8 the day after his arrest in Indiana that he escaped because Michigan courts would not give him another chance to plead his case.
After processing in Jackson, Elliot will not be sent back to the Ionia Correctional Facility, where he was classified as a Level II prisoner at the time of his escape. Instead, prison officials said, he will be classified as a maximum security prisoner and eventually sent to either Baraga Correctional Facility or Marquette Branch Prison — both of which are in the Upper Peninsula.
Elliot’s escape led to an internal investigation that showed gaps in security and has led to a review of security at other Michigan prisons.
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