Escaped inmate Alinton John faces a judge

Alinton John was finally in an Orange County Court, three days after going on the run from his prison work crew.

“How are you doing?” John asked the judge in court, giving a polite smile.

“I'm fine,” the judge replied, “you're here for an initial appearance on an out-of-county warrant.”

John was supposed to have had his first appearance Saturday, but deputies said he was undergoing a mental health check. The judge on Sunday said John's being transferred to a facility in Tallahassee.

“You have a right to a lawyer but you'll get it when you get to that county,” the judge said, “which is Leon County.”

John had been serving a 15-year prison sentence for aggravated battery. Lake County deputies said he escaped Thursday, after walking away from his work crew outside a minimum-security prison, and stealing a nearby pickup truck. Orange County deputies cornered him at a Pine Hills intersection, Friday night, and he surrendered without putting up a fight.

A neighbor says he's surprised the convict was in the area. “I knew that they were looking for him, but I didn't know that he had made it all the way over here,” he said, “that's a couple of counties across, ain't it?”

While waiting to be transferred to Tallahassee, John continued being held without bond in the Orange County Jail.