David Ingram, now 48, was on the run from law enforcement officials for 23-years. Convicted of selling Ecstasy, a rare (at the time) drug, the then 25-year-old Ohioan decided to run for his freedom instead of serving a harsh 25-year sentence imposed by the judge.
Ingram was arrested in ’88 after a man who hired him to bring the drug into Ohio turned out to be a police informer. He finally turned up in March after applying for a drivers license. When authorities found out that he’d been on the lam for two decades, they sent him back to Ohio’s prison sentence in May. Ingram was expected to serve out his sentence.
Hamilton County (OH) Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert Nadel–the judge who originally sentenced Ingram–ordered the incarcerated man back to court in July. The judge wanted to find out more about the man he sentenced so long ago, how he’d survived, and also how he evaded detection.
The two men had several conversations, and the judge seemed to be taken with Ingram’s story, and the judge was impressed that Ingram had remained clean so many years after his initial crime.
“I get people on probation who can’t even go three months, two months without doing anything wrong,” Nadel said.
According to Cincinnati.com, Ingram held 100 jobs since 1988 and didn’t have a phone for the majority of those years. In fact, he stayed clear of anything that would require a credit check, and paid for everything in cash. Ingram never had a bank account, owned a home, or purchased anything on credit.
In March 2010, a friend of Ingram’s died and left him a car. He told Judge Nadel that he wanted to take the car back East to care for his ailing mother. He was caught when trying to do something right…obtain a drivers license.
Moments following fingerprinting for his license, Ingram was in handcuffs and sent to Ohio for imprisonment. Then the judge intervened, and despite the prosecutions desire to keep Ingram locked up, the judge ordered that Ingram was to be released after serving seven months. The terms of his release were that Ingram call in to his probation officer every month.
Ingram offered to call the judge as well, relieved to be free.
The judge stated, “You can do that. You know my address here. You can write me.”