Sheriff: Captured man not escaped murderer |

Sheriff: Captured man not escaped murderer

After a dramatic chase through Grass Valley Wednesday morning, Nevada County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man they believed to be a convicted murderer on the run since escaping from Folsom Prison 25 years ago.

But once the man was detained and processed at the county jail, his fingerprints were run and he turned out not to be Glen Stewart Godwin, who has been on the FBI's 10 most-wanted list since 1996.

As it turns out, however, the man was an escapee — from a Nevada prison.

According to Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal, his office received information recently that Godwin was believed to be living in an apartment in Grass Valley, and deputies received a vehicle description.

Sheriff's Sgt. Guy Selleck was following up on some properties belonging to Charles Hilkey — who was set for sentencing on federal pot and money laundering charges Wednesday — on the San Juan Ridge when he spotted the man believed to be Godwin, Royal said.

Selleck alerted other deputies that the man was heading their way and they were waiting for him at the apartment complex in Grass Valley, Royal said.

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Deputies tried to make a traffic stop, but the suspect fled and a pursuit ensued, Royal said. The chase apparently led past Nevada Union High School, down Rough and Ready Highway and onto Bitney Springs Road before the man stopped and tried to flee on foot.

A Sheriff's deputy fired a shot, but did not hit the suspect, Royal said.

A firearm was recovered at the scene, he added.

The suspect was taken into custody and was transported to the county jail, where he allegedly gave a false name.

"We ran the prints, and the DOJ did a hard comparison to prints known to belong to Godwin," Royal said. "They said, 'No, it's not him.'"

The man's fingerprints eventually came back as belonging to Christopher Lang, 45, an escapee from a Nevada prison.

Lang was serving a sentence for grand larceny, possession of stolen property and keeping a place to sell controlled substances, said a spokesman from the Nevada Department of Corrections.

He had walked away from a "transitional center" near Las Vegas in late August 2011, the spokesman said. Lang had been moved to the transitional center because he was close to being released from prison, but
the spokesman could not say what that release date might have been.

Lang was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility on suspicion of assault with a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, evading a peace officer through reckless driving and being a fugitive from justice.

He will face additional escape charges out of Nevada.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call (530) 477-4229.

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