Inmate pleads guilty to escape charges

MANASSAS — The 24-year-old Manassas inmate who eluded area police for a week in March after he escaped from a work program pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor escape charge and will spend another year behind bars.

Abzerrak Bouarfa originally was charged with felony escape charges; prosecution allowed Bouarfa to plead guilty to the lesser misdemeanor charge in Prince William General District Court.

Bouarfa was serving a five-year sentence for a November 2001 conviction on two felony counts of grand larceny as a participant in a diversion program at the Prince William-Manassas regional jail when he escaped the morning of March 15.

He was with six other inmates who were picking up jail supplies at a storage warehouse at 8494 Signal Hill Road just outside of Manassas when he left the group under the supervision of a jail officer.

Before escaping, Bouarfa was awaiting a transfer to the Virginia Department of Corrections, where he was going to be part of a program that would allow him to work off his sentence in the community. Jail officials now say he will not be eligible for the program.

Bouarfa was arrested after a week-long search when Manassas police responded to a tip that Bouarfa could be found at a Texaco gas station on Columbia Pike in Arlington, where he was arrested.

Staff writer Trina Goethals can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 121.

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