Escaped lifer: New charges are a ‘waste’

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — A convicted murderer who escaped from a Michigan prison in February and was later arrested a state away says that bringing new charges against him is a “waste.”

Michael Elliot appeared Wednesday afternoon in Ionia District Court after a morning video hearing did not occur because of video system issues. He was arraigned on charges of escape, carjacking and kidnapping.

During the arraignment, officers didn’t take any chances with Elliot, 40, who was able to escape from the Ionia Correctional Facility on the evening of Feb. 2. As the judge spoke, a corrections officer kept his hand on the chain secured around Elliot’s waist. Several other officers were on hand, standing just feet away.

Officers in the courtroom with Michael Elliot during his arraignment in Ionia District Court. (April 23, 2014)
(Officers in the courtroom with Elliot during his arraignment)

As he was escorted out of the courthouse after his arraignment, Elliot made reference to the original reason he was in prison before escaping – his first-degree murder convictions in the shooting of four people during the 1993 robbery of a drug dealer.

“I already got life for something I didn’t do,” he said. “It seems like a waste of tax money to try to give me more time.”

Elliot is serving five life sentences without the possibility of parole for the 1993 shootings. A co-defendant in the case admitted to pulling the trigger. Elliot maintains his innocence.

But Elliot doesn’t seem to dispute the validity of the latest charges. When asked by 24 Hour News 8 if he admitted to the crimes he is most recently accused of, he responded, “Yeah, pretty much.”

Elliot is due back in court in two weeks for a preliminary exam on the charges where, barring a guilty plea or a change in the charges, a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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