WHITE COUNTY – A massive manhunt in Southern Illinois has led to the arrest of a 27-year-old Mt. Vernon man.
Illinois State Police sent out an officer safety bulletin shortly before 5 p.m. Monday referencing a stolen vehicle and aggravated battery with a firearm in White County. At the time, the subject was believed to be armed with a shotgun.
The subject’s vehicle was spotted by Mt Carmel Police, who attempted a traffic stop. Police said Ashton T. Harper then reportedly led them on a chase through several fields and tree lines before stopping in a shed and then fleeing on foot.
Officers lost sight of Harper during the foot pursuit and a manhunt ensued. Harper was eventually found in Lawrence County and taken into custody just after 9 p.m.
Harper was wanted on a warrant out of Wayne County for a stolen vehicle, as well as traffic charges in Mt Carmel related to this incident. He is currently held in the Wabash County Jail.
He was sentenced in 2019 in Jefferson County Court to 4-years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on a Class 2 felony conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm with a prior conviction.