PINE BLUFF, Ark., — Escaped murderer Timothy Buffington on Saturday managed to take a hostage and break into a house that sits on prison grounds, arming himself with a shotgun and a backpack of extra ammo.
Buffington was a trusty since 2003 for exhibiting good behavior behind bars. Trusty status comes about not because of a person’s crime but instead is based on a person’s behavior behind bars. To that end, Buffington was able to work on the prison grounds with little to no supervision on a routine basis.
The day of his escape, Buffington was working at the home, which was occupied. There are 13 houses on the Pine Bluff Complex where prison staff live for security purposes.
“He confronted a woman who lives at the residence and attempted to get her to drive him off prison grounds,” said Public Information Officer Shea Wilson. “She managed to get away from him and run to Randall Williams Correctional Facility (the Pine Bluff Unit) for help.”
It was then that Buffington gained access to the shotgun and ammunition.
“Buffington broke into a safe room located on prison grounds at the Pine Bluff Complex, and obtained a shot gun. The door was dead-bolted and Buffington managed to kick the door frame out to gain access. Buffington was doing yard/janitorial work at the house,” Wilson explained.
The ACD is continuing efforts today in the area of Princeton Pike near the prison grounds to locate the escaped prisoner, who has now been missing three days. Wilson said the prison continues to focus on public safety and on capturing Buffington. She said the prison system will conduct a full investigation on the issues surrounding his escape once he is back in custody.
Buffington, ADC #114994, is a 47-year-old white male serving a 20-year sentence for first degree murder out of Logan County. He should be considered armed and dangerous. He is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 182 pounds.
Buffington, who was 31 in 1998 when he committed his crime, shot his ex-wife, Rhonda Combs, 23, in the back of the head with a rifle while she sat in her boyfriend’s pickup outside of the Booneville city limits. Buffington shot his ex-wife after being involved in a custody battle over the couple’s two children. He was sentenced to prison in 1999 and was scheduled to be released in 2018.