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Escapee apprehended in Winton; woman arrested as accomplice
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Three days after escaping from a Merced County jail facility, a Merced man was found hiding under a pile of clothes in a Winton home.

After following several leads over the course of three days, Merced County Sheriff’s Tactical and Reconnaissance Team tracked 39-year-old Adrian Hicks to an address in the 6200 block of Santa Fe Avenue in Winton. After surrounding the house and searching the interior, Hicks was found hiding under a pile of clothes in the corner of a closet in a back bedroom, sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie said.

Hicks escaped from the John Latorraca Correctional Facility on Dec. 26 by climbing a hole in the bathroom ceiling after the morning head count. He then scaled the fence by placing blankets over the razor wire. The blankets were found on a fence behind one of the dorms.

Hicks was taken into custody on Dec. 13 on a Merced Police Department warrant for possession of stolen property, grand theft — both with priors — and felony evading a peace officer.

Hicks was originally tried on the same charges and took a plea deal of three years. According to him he asked for and was granted a pass from the judge to take care of some personal business, but failed to turn himself back in and was subsequently arrested by Merced Police Department, MacKenzie said.

The judge doubled Hicks’ time since he failed to turn himself in on the pass, and Hicks said that was why he escaped last week.

“He felt he didn’t deserve the extra time,” MacKenzie said.

Hicks said he had been bouncing from house to house in Merced until he was feeling too much “pressure” from law enforcement and went to Winton.

The follow-up investigation into Hicks’ escape led to the arrest of Monica Beserra, 30, of Winton. Beserra was booked on charges of harboring a fugitive and two felony warrants for narcotics possession and remains jailed in lieu of a $150,000 bail.