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Runaway Con, Guard Nabbed

A convicted murderer and a guard suspected of helping him escape from a northwest Missouri prison were captured Saturday morning in Texas, the FBI said.

Terry Banks and guard Lynette J. Barnett were taken peacefully at a trailer park in Victoria, Texas, about 7:30 a.m., FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza said.

The two had been sought since Oct. 29, when Banks walked out of maximum-security Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron. He was seen on a prison videotape wearing a guard's uniform and also showed a police identity card, authorities said at the time.

Saturday's arrests followed a tip to the Fox TV show "America's Most Wanted," which aired a segment on the case Dec. 11. Lanza said he did not know when the tip came in.

Banks' father was also taken into custody Saturday morning in Victoria, Lanza said, but was not charged. The FBI, local police, sheriff's officers and officials of the Texas Department of Public Safety took part in the capture.

The pair were found in a recreational vehicle next to a trailer, Lanza said.

Banks, 26, of Benton Harbor, Mich., was convicted of first-degree murder in 1995 in Greene County in southwestern Missouri. He was serving life without parole for the 1992 shooting death of Tim Eastburn of Rocky Comfort, Mo., whose wife was also sentenced to life in prison.

Authorities believe Banks and Barnett, 27, left Crossroads about 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 in Barnett's pickup truck. That night, Barnett cashed her $1,400 paycheck at a Kansas City liquor store.

Barnett's black pickup truck was sold by relatives of Banks to a woman in Joplin for $2,000 on Nov. 18 The truck was found Dec. 3 in the Joplin area.

Barnett was hired at Crossroads when the 1,500-inmate facility opened in 1997. She faces state and federal charges of helping Banks escape. The charges carry sentences of two to five years in prison.